A travel documentary is a documentary film, television program, or online series that describes travel in general or tourist attractions without recommending particular package deals or tour operators. A travelogue film is an early type of travel documentary, serving as an exploratory ethnographic film. Ethnographic films have been made for the spectators to see the other half to relate with the world in relative relations. These films are a spectacle to see beyond the cultural differences as explained by the Allison Griffith in her journal. Before 1930s, it was difficult to see the importance of documentary films in Hollywood cinema but 1930s brought about a change in the history of these films with the popularity of independent filmmakers.
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The genre has been represented by television shows such as Across the Seven Seas, which showcased travelogues produced by third parties, and by occasional itinerant presentations of travelogues in theaters and other venues.
The British comedian and actor Michael Palin has made several series in this genre beginning with Around the World in 80 Days (1989). PBS has several travel shows including those hosted by Rick Steves and Burt Wolf.