A theoretical framework is proposed for systematizing our understanding of how concepts in tourism emerge and change over time through the example of a structured description of the evolving phenomenon of ‘Pilgrimage Tourism.’ Using the ‘product lifecycle’ (PLC) model, I explain the changes that have taken place in pilgrimage research over the years and contend that, as part of an ongoing process of change, this phenomenon, as a concept, is gradually undergoing the stages of a PLC – from birth, through development and stagnation, to decline or eventual rejuvenation. At the same time, it is developing new identities, such as secular pilgrimage or dark tourism. The PLC model appears to provide a suitable framework for interpreting the process currently being experienced by many concepts in the realm of tourism, such as ecotourism and raises major questions regarding the usage of new concepts. After all, concepts are human creations, and therefore products, in a very real sense.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Pilgrimage tourism
- dark tourism
- product lifecycle model
- religious tourism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management