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History of automobile tourism

Autotourism, also known as road tourism, has a rich history that dates back to the early days of the automobile industry. Here is a brief overview of the history of world automobile tourism.

Image by Jonatan Hernandez

Early 20th century

​The appearance of the automobile at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries produced a real revolution. People were no longer limited to traveling by train, horse-drawn carriage, or on foot.

As cars became more affordable and reliable, they were used for leisure travel by both single travelers and entire families.

The first guidebooks and maps aimed at automobile tourists began to appear.

Automotive tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and government and commercial organizations are beginning to realize its economic potential.

Roadside hotels began to appear - motels and auto courts, designed for those traveling by car.

During this period, long-distance trips, for example, the famous Route 66 in the USA, became a symbol of automobile tourism.



With the development of the automobile industry and the decline in the cost of cars in the 1930s, automobile tourism became accessible to more people. At this time, motels, car campsites and other accommodation facilities specially designed for motor tourists appeared. Routes and roads for tourists have also become more developed.

Post-World War II era

After the Second World War, there was a significant increase in the number of passenger cars produced, and as a result, car owners, which contributed to the further development of automobile tourism.

The development of the interstate highway system in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s made long-distance travel even more accessible.



During these decades, automobile tourism continued to develop, and more and more people took road trips for recreation and entertainment.

The “hippie trail” from Europe to Asia and other long-distance routes gained popularity.

1980s - present

The development of the Internet and digital technologies has changed car tourism. Travelers can now plan their trips online, use GPS navigation and easily find accommodation.

Popular niches in road trip tourism have become ecotourism and adventure tourism, in which travelers seek unique and out-of-the-box experiences.




Future trends

The future of road tourism may involve increased use of electric and driverless vehicles, with a focus on green and clean travel.

Automotive tourism has played a vital role in shaping the way people explore and understand the world. It remains a popular and sustainable form of travel, offering the freedom and flexibility to explore new places and cultures at your own pace.

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