The story of tourism

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The Independent Travel

1855

Discovery of Victoria Falls by Livingstone; Thomas Cook launches first foreign trips to Europe

1900

Sir Arthur Evans reveals his discoveries of an ancient civilisation at Knossos, Crete; the first long-distance motor bus service in Britain begins - London to Leeds takes two days

1903

Ski Club of Great Britain founded; Wright brothers are the first to fly a heavier-than-air craft

1909

Aussie Annette Kellerman arrested for indecent exposure after wearing a one-piece swimsuit

1911

Hiram Bingham is led by local people to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu

1912

The first permanent Youth Hostel is established in Altena Castle in Germany

1919

Alcock and Brown become the first men to fly across the Atlantic Ocean non-stop

1932

'Mass trespass' by 5,000 hikers who want more access to Peak District

1936

Gatwick opens as first modern airport, with built-in station, shops and covered gates

1946

Heathrow opens to civilian traffic; British South American Airways is first departure

1950

Britain's first all-inclusive package holiday to the Mediterranean departs from Gatwick

1952

TWA launches the world's first discount cabin on a commercial airline, called 'Tourist Class'; the next day, the first passenger-jet service begins, with a De Havilland Comet, on a BOAC flight to Johannesburg

1955

Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is founded; Disneyland opens in California

1971

Pan Books publishes The Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe - first guidebook for backpackers

1977

574 die in world's worst air disaster when two planes collide on the runway in Tenerife

1985

Society

Expeditions announces plans for tourist flights in space by 1992

1994

The first scheduled Eurostar passenger train departs from London for Paris

1995

Stelios Haji-Ioannou launches easyJet - the UK's first low-fare 'no-frills' airline

1997

Three guidebooks to Antarctica are published, along with one guidebook each to Mars and to the Moon

2000

The number of people using Heathrow in a single year exceeds Britain's population

2004

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary predicts air fares will fall by 10 per cent next year

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