The purpose of this paper is to present the historical development of tourism studies literature and institutions in chronological order, dating back to the early twentieth century. Data sources used include books, journals, reports, theses and dissertations. Guidance was provided by academicians who have had personal communications with the first generation of pioneers in tourism research, or personal experience of the transformation of tourism as an academic discipline from its junior to its mature stages. The paper indicates how tourism as a field of research and education evolved from the early 1900s to the early 2000s and how this development can be divided into three major periods. In the first period, tourism was considered to be an applied field and was integrated within other major disciplines. During this time, scholars from Germany, Switzerland and Austria dominated research. The second period saw the first steps towards internationalisation, with tourism research and education expanding into Anglophone countries and some other developing areas. The third period reflects how tourism research and education became international.