The traveler and writer Marco Polo, born into a family of Venetian merchants, spent years representing China (then known as Cathay) under the sponsorship of the Mongol prince Kublai Khan. Marco impressed the Khan as he demonstrated his excellence in travel and his powers of observation.
Under the sponsorship of the Khan, the Polo family conducted widespread trading. While on business trips around the Khan's empire, Marco first demonstrated his analytical skills and his ability to recount what he saw in clear and easily understandable language. His reports included details on local customs, events and business conditions. The reports kept the Khan apprised of news within his empire.