30 May /14


The word tourist first appears in an advertisement for a book about the Lake District, The Ode to the Genius of the Lakes in the North of England in 1780 and a mocking review one year later.

In his works, William Cockin (the not-so-successful poet) claims that he “throws the piece only in the way of actual tourists”. However, in The Critical Review or Annals of Literature, his reviewer comments facetiously that as readers are not “actual tourists” there is not much point reading the book from a literary point of view. He notes the word “tourist” is not to be found in any contemporary dictionary, but that the meaning is obvious enough.

This was the first mention in English of one of the main drivers of the world’s economy (cf. also Tourism Translation).  Under Guide Book, Word of the Daycomments about the first real onslaught of tourists being the British aristocracy visiting Europe. Tourism now generates over USD 1 trillion a year, with the biggest spenders being the Chinese, Germans and Americans. Whole industries cater to tourism, which accounts for something like 30% of the world’s trade and services.

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