Mass tourism depended upon easier and faster modes of travel as well as the emerging concept of ‘leisure’ time, the creation of disposable income through the urban factories and the media possibilities of advertising and widespread distribution of literature.
During the Victorian era, a period filled with the concept of colonization, society was encountering many new cultures and ways of life as a result of increasingly available forms of reliable transportation. Rather than appreciating them for what they offered – differing perspectives, alternate means of solving common societal issues or a way of life that eliminated some of the more common social ills experienced in the newly industrialized societies – colonizing nations sought to overcome these ‘others’ and force them into a worldview in keeping with their own. When this wasn’t possible, as in dealing with faraway nations in the Orient, inventions were made of the bits and pieces of information that came back that defined entire sections of the world according to what was imagined about them rather than on true accounts of them. In doing so, comparisons were made between the ‘other’ and the self, meaning the dominant culture of the colonizing nation which is, in this case, predominantly England, that placed the self at an aggrandized level and the ‘other’ at a level quite inferior. In other words, in encountering the ‘other’, the colonizing nation reacted in a way that demonized them, reduced them to second-class humans and thereby contained them within a less-threatening context while boosting the self to new levels of superiority.
It is perhaps most educative to look first to the work of philosopher Edward Said for an explanation of the ‘other’ as he places it within the context of Orientalism, a term he used to define the way in which the English-speaking world sought to contain images of