A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides travel and tourism related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, and package tours. In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers and some travel agencies specialize in commercial and business travel only. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located.OriginsThe modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century. Thomas Cook, in addition to developing the package tour, established a chain of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in association with the Midland Railway. The first ever tour organised was from Loughborough to Leicester carrying 500 passengers – 12 miles journey for 1 shilling. They not only sold their own tours to the public, but in addition, represented other tour companies. Other British pioneer travel agencies were Dean & Dawson, the Polytechnic Touring Association, and the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in the United States is Brownell Travel; on 4 July 1887, Walter T. Brownell led ten travelers on a European tour, setting sail from New York on the SS Devonia.