What do you understand by the term Grand Tour?
The term Grand Tour is generally used to describe a circuit of Western Europe undertaken by a wealthy social elite for culture, education and pleasure.
The Grand Tour may be defined in terms of class, which would determine the places visited and the mode of travel.
The oxford dictionary defines grand tour as a tour of the principal cities and places of interest in europe formerly said to be an essential part of the education of young men of good birth and fortune. This definition suggests that these tours of certain places and cities of western europe were undertaken for education and pleasure.
There were also other diverse reasons for undertaking the Grand Tour like, career, education, culture, literary, health, scientific, business and economic. At different times one or more of these motivations could have been the primary one, depending on the social status, cultural environment and trends in transport and accommodation.
The Grand Tour itinerary was closely linked to the availability of tourism resources, both relating to trends in fashion as well as facilitation. The timing was also related to seasonal variations as well as events and activities of the concerned individual.
An emergent tourism industry also began to direct tourism flows in the 19th century as commercial facilities were required to supplement the informal and formal arrangements that merchants, pilgrims and tourists had earlier used.
Regular tourist transport services were established and guidebooks were also available. There were guides as well as porters cycling and walking tours were becoming popular. Banking arrangements through exchange notes were made to give added facilities to the tourists. Thus there emerged travel organizers who provided all these facilities to the tourists on their package tours.
The Grand tour made tourism a family affair and soon women travelers began to travel.