Discuss The Continuities In The History Of Youth Travel From The Grand Tour To The Gap Year

1235 words - 5 pages

Discuss the continuities in the history of youth travel from the Grand Tour to the gap year.The conventional view of tourism's past is dominated by the history of western cultural experience. It can be traced back to the eighteenth century Grand Tour of extended travel of young men from the aristocratic classes of the United Kingdom and other parts of northern Europe to continental Europe for educational and cultural purposes Towner, 1996, which, suggested that tourism starts with the wealthy, with images of prestigious visits, Grand Tours and time and wealth consuming activities (Towner, 1995, p. 339). During the famous grand tour, greater proportion of aristocratic young men enjoyed the ...view middle of the document...

337). Unlike the grand tour to provide educational opportunities, tramping was linked more explicitly to an early stage of occupational life, journeymen being required to travel for several years before being certified as masters in their craft (Adlder, 1985, p. 339). When people regard tramping as a rite of passage into adulthood, yet, the tramping was primarily responsed to the problem of unemployment, and though young men were more likely than older ones to tramp when local demand for labor diminished, tramping was not limited to youth alone (Adlder, 1985, p. 339). Nonetheless, tramping always had touristic components, young men were motivated not only by the search for work but also by a desire for sightseeing and adventure.In the 1960s and 1970s, affluent youth, also known as drifters travelled the world (Cohen, 1973). In contrast with grand tour and tramping, Cohen (1972) argued that the drifter has least contact with the tourism industry, has no fixed itinerary or timetable, travels on a more limited budget, and is more of a risk-taker. Drifters are young people who run away from materialistic societies to where they believe can search for the truth of philosophies. They believed that their travels were a rite of passage into the next stage of their lives (Chappel, 2008, p. 40). Cohen in his study (1973) described drifter as vulnerary tramps from middle or upper classes families- unpatriotic and escapist, they commonly beg, scavenge, and share food and lodgings.After 70s, drifter appeared to have declined with the phenomenon of growth of long-term international budget tourism in the 80s (O’Reilly, 2006, p. 1005). Meanwhile, young people are widely accepted rite of passage associating with ideals of freedom, personal development, fulfillment, and part of their education (2006, p. 998). Younger people are more willing to accept backpacker label, and take a long-term, lower budgeted serendipity travelling after study, known as ‘gap year’ (O’Reilly, 2006). To some extent, the similarities indicate that backpackers are the inheritors of the drifters. However, today’s backpackers differ from the original drifters. They are socially constructed, well educated, openness to strangers, willingness to take risks, and would return home for their work.Youthful backpack could link with Grand Tour, because its focus on gaining education through exposure to different culture. Backpacking has helped younger traveler to developed stronger sense of self-identity. In contrast with tramping, backpacking has shifted from work-related travel to more pure tourism, though, travel can be good for the curriculum vitae in work experience gained on the...

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