Tourism and other features
For a number of years, the Grand Tour has been a male preserve limited to the aristocracy. However, with the reduced costs of traveling and increasing safety, many wealthy persons are deciding to travel the continent.
The latter of half of the 18th century has seen an increase in tourism as a means of enjoyment. Now, women and families are traveling abroad with their husbands in addition to young gentlemen furthering their education. Enjoyment and leisure has also become a prime motive for travel. In travel writing, the depiction of landscape has evolved into a feature that gains the interest of the contemporary reader. The stagecoach network has developed to an optimal level, now providing an easier, safer, and more convenient means of transportation while on the Continent.
Tourism in the last decade of the 18th century increased as a result of the changing political and economic state of the European continent. Following a series of internal wars in varying countries, European nations became more accessible, safer, and connected through the well-developed stagecoach system and the improving road conditions.
The Grand Tour, for a long time a male preserve and initially confined to the aristocracy, began to reform from its initial state in the later part of the 18th century. Although the Grand Tour remained in existence for academic and enlightenment purposes, no longer did it encompass the role of tourist travel. Instead, as a result of the lowering costs, the luxury of travel was now open to the bourgeois class as well as the aristocracy, which led to women traveling abroad for the first time in history. Many women began to travel with their husbands and families in the latter half of the 18th century. They went abroad and endured the journey to record the beautiful and exotic landscapes rumored only in literature. Many women documented their travels, meals, accommodations, and feelings in journals, which they sent back to England in the form of letters. These letters are the only existing memorabilia of the first tourist women travelers in the late 18th century.