The word ‘tea’ has a number of connotations. It can refer to a plant, a beverage, a meal service, an agricultural product, an export, an industry, an art, a religion or a dedicated pastime. Tea, the plant, had its origins in China and its subsequent introduction to other countries and adoption as a beverage around the world has romantic connections to travel to exotic places. Tea as a beverage has been adopted in different cultures, and many countries have evolved their own tea traditions or assumed those of others. Tea has developed as a dedicated meal service in food-service establishments such as hotels where tea services reflecting the tea traditions of their location are offered. Tea is also an agricultural product and for many countries an important export product. Tea as an industry consists of tea associations, tea farmers and producers, tea brokers, tea auctions, tea blenders and tasters, tea distributors, tea-service establishments, tea retailers and tea consumers. A peripheral industry built up around tea focuses on the production of goods for a tea-loving public, including books on tea, tea accessories and a variety of tea-themed giftwares. Tea blending has developed as an art and in some societies, such as Japan, as a religion. For many, the romance and history of tea and the experience of consuming tea is a pastime. This pursuit includes collecting, either associated to the purchase of tea and related items such as teacups and teapots, or the seeking out and amassing of tea experiences, independently or as part of an organized tea tour. It is in the areas of tea services, tea attractions, tea tours and tea destinations that tea is clearly directly connected to tourism, as contemporary tourists seek out unique and authentic experiences related to the consumption and appreciation of the beverage called tea. For the tea industry, tourism related to tea encourages both the consumption of tea and the development of relationships with potential customers. Tourism clearly has the potential to enhance the brand image and marketing of tea-producing destinations such as Assam and Ooty in India. In Canada the tea industry has promoted the proper brewing and serving of tea in food service establishments serving tourists, and has extolled the health benefits of tea to a sympathetic public (Tea Council of Canada). In Sri Lanka tourism related to tea has been recognized as a potential strategy for the diversification of tea plantations and the encouragement of sustainable development in tea-producing regions. In India regional governments in tea-producing regions such as Assam are sponsoring tea festivals as both a way of nurturing relationships with potential customers and encouraging the development of tourism in their areas. These examples demonstrate the rich connections between tea histories, traditions and travel as well the relationship of tea to tourism.