Pilgrimage-tourism: Common themes in different religions

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The paper discusses common themes in different religions regarding pilgrimage-tourism and has four main goals. First, it shows that the boundaries between pilgrimage and tourism have become blurred. Second, it characterises the different changes that have taken place in pilgrimage research in recent years. Third, it re-examines three different pilgrimage case-studies in an effort to draw conclusions pertaining to the 'pilgrimagetourism nexus'; and fourth, it highlights discrepancies between the 'old' paradigm, predicated on the assumption that religious elements lie at the core of pilgrimage, and the results of more recent research on secular models of travel, highlighting alternative and complementary approaches to explain the shifting boundaries between tourists and pilgrims. The three case-studies discussed offer evidence that both the study and the phenomena of pilgrimage in the twenty-first century are changing. This comes along with the increasing blurring of pilgrimage, tourism, and secular tourism, and the fading differences between the desires of people to search for new meaning. These developments can be observed by doing away with distinctions that were accepted in the past, and a growing inability to distinguish between the different perceptions and research areas, which are becoming increasingly integrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-17
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Dublin Institute of Technology. All Rights Reserved.


  • Mobilities
  • Pilgrimage
  • Religion
  • Religious tourism
  • Secular pilgrimage
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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