The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the advent of the luxury steamship in the late 19th century heralded a golden age of travel in early 20th century Southeast Asia. Governments set up travel offices and tourist information bureaus in response to the steady increase in European tourist arrivals in the Far East. They promoted the exotic splendour of their countries through advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Passenger shipping lines, railway companies and airlines began to issue brochures recommending travel routes. Writers and seasoned travellers also took to publishing guidebooks offering essential travel information and suggested itineraries.