First Travel Book and Travel Facts
Tourism is a $4 trillion-a-year industry, affecting more than 200 million jobs, or 1 in 10 workers. But tourism actually is an old industry, dating back to the first Olympics in 776BC. Even in ancient Rome it was popular to travel up the Nile to Thebes to view the statues.
The first book on travel, aptly called "Travel" was published by Jehan de Mandeville (anglicized to Sir John Mandeville) in 1357. It became a best seller and was translated into 9 languages.
Trips used to be organized by individuals or small groups who accompanied their guests. In 1758, Cox & Kings became the world's first travel agency - not necessarily escorting the travelers to their destination. Thomas Cook (1808 - 1892) also took large groups on tour and then founded his company in the 1860s. The first travel agency in the United States was founded in 1887 by Walter T. Brownell.
Tourism is the biggest industry in most countries - except the United States, where entertainment is the biggest industry.
More Miscellaneous Facts
In 1758, Cox & Kings became the world's first travel agency.
In the period known as the "Old Kingdom" in Ancient Egypt, from 2600-2100 BC, all professions were open to men and women, including the clergy, business, and medicine. In fact, records show that there were more than 100 prominent female physicians in Ancient Egypt, with Peseshet as their director. She was known as "lady overseer of the female physicians" - although it is not established that Lady Peseshet was a doctor herself and even if she was she was not the first known female physician. That title goes to someone who practiced medicine almost 100 years earlier: the world's first known female doctor was Merit-Ptah (2700 BC).
1. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
2. Many cities don't have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. This city tempted fate.
3. If you have 13 letters in your name, you're said to have the devil's luck. Like, this guy (Charles Manson).
4. Many airports skip the 13th gate.
5. Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
6. Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
7. More than 80% of high rises lack a 13th floor.
8. On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
9. Traditionally in hangings, there are 13 knots in the noose and 13 steps leading up to the moment of death.
10. French President Nicolas Sarkozy may know that in France, socialites called quatorziens (fourteeners) make themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
11. Many say the No. 13 pointed to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.
12. Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper.
13. Some say that the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (circa 1780 B.C.E.) is to blame for the No. 13 woes since the 13th law is omitted.