Pilgrimage tourism-past, present and future rejuvenation: a perspective article

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to analyse the development of the pilgrimage phenomenon over the past few decades. Pilgrimage was the first tourism mobility to come into existence thousands of years ago. In recent decades, its significance has decreased, as other tourism segments have gained prominence. Although modern tourism is regarded as a relatively new phenomenon, its origins are clearly rooted in the age-old practice of pilgrimage. Indeed, the development of tourism is difficult to understand without a thorough comprehension of the practice of pilgrimage in ancient times. Design/methodology/approach: This paper analyses the development of the pilgrimage phenomenon over the past few decades. The phenomenon of Pilgrimage Tourism and the nexus between the two mobilities has been experiencing tremendous changes over the past few decades and is still in the midst of an on-going process of transformation. Findings: This paper concludes with the prediction that pilgrimage will re-emerge when the many similar segments – particularly, spiritual tourism, heritage tourism, religious tourism, dark tourism and secular pilgrimage – are re-identified as pilgrimage: a mobility for the search for meaning that contains an element of transformation that is often deep and enduring (as they were viewed at the dawn of humanity and for thousands of years). Originality/value: This review has examined the development of pilgrimage tourism as a research topic, highlighting the importance of re-examining our contemporary usage of terms in order to allow for broader interpretations of different phenomena in the field of tourism. These conclusions are consistent with the current calls for a fundamental rethinking of the paradigms and the norms shaping scholarship on pilgrimage, dark tourism and tourism as a whole from a post-disciplinary perspective based on synthesis and synergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
JournalTourism Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Noga Collins-Kreiner.


  • Dark tourism
  • Pilgrimage
  • Pilgrimage tourism
  • Religion
  • Religious tourism
  • Secular pilgrimage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Pilgrimage tourism-past, present and future rejuvenation: a perspective article'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this