The early days of Tourism




In the nineteenth century, visitors to the island integrated four major groups: patients, travellers, tourists and scientists. Most visitors belonged to the moneyed aristocracy, with an endless list of aristocrats, princes, princesses and monarchs.

Still during the seventeenth century, the increase of sea routes and interest in botany led to the introduction of new plants, which were acclimatized to the Island and enriched the gardens of homes and, in particular, of the estates which arose around the city.

In Madeira, the main port and city no longer monopolized the attention of travellers: walks and horse rides enabled incursions to the inner part of the island. In the late 1840s the first steps were taken to create a set of supporting infrastructures within the island. However, it is only in 1887 that the first adequate network of inns, outside of Funchal, begin to appear. The presence of these units did not put an end to the traditional hospitality of existing homes and estates in Funchal, further south.

As a result of a high demand for the season, there was a need to prepare guides for visitors. The first tourist guide of Madeira appeared in 1850 and focused on elements of history, geology, flora, fauna and customs of the island.

Regarding hotel infrastructures, the British and the Germans were the first to launch the Madeiran hotel chain.
 
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