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Sustainable Religious Tourism

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 14488

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Town and Country Planning, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15705 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: urban geography; economic development; cultural studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15705 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: human geography; tourism geography; heritage and heritage management; geography of pilgrimages and geography of sacred spaces; geo-humanities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Polytechnic University of Milan, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: urban planning; marginal areas; slow tourism; public policy; cycling and walking paths

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Originally, the expression religious tourism referred to religious places, but religious tourism is a practice related to the evolving concept of “sacred space”, which today refers to postmodern and “more than representational” approaches (della Dora, 2011). Symbolic performances maintain and renew the value of sacred spaces (Kong, 2001; Holloway and Valins, 2002; Coleman and Eade, 2004). As a result, different practices are associated to religious tourism, such as pilgrimage. In addition, there are new emerging “sacred places”, whose importance is not necessary bound to officially recognized religions. As a matter of fact, new pilgrimages celebrate events or graves of national martyrs or commemorate the diaspora to recover the historical roots of a population (root-pilgrimage or diaspora tourism). These new places of worship and memory (proceeding from new secular or civil religions) are also based on nationalistic sentiments. Therefore, attention should be paid to the dichotomy: sacred places and secular places. In addition, contemporary societies are producing “private religions”, whose power resides in the individual and not in the transcendent (Farias and Lalljee, 2008). Thus, spirituality and religiosity are still relevant as they take on new meanings and implications; indeed, spirituality does not necessary stand for religion, but rather it refers to subjectivity, as “New Age” movements show in their search for a new individually-oriented spirituality and the need for introspection (Digance, 2003).

Considering this postmodern approach, the aim of the Special Issue is to explore the permanence and emergence of religious places that leave their imprints on the territory and characterize it thanks to their different practices. This diverse “spatial use” supposes a new territorial organization that poses some issues in terms of sustainable tourism practices and management.

Prof. Rubén C. Lois González
Dr. Lucrezia Lopez
Dr. Rossella Moscarelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • religious tourism
  • spiritual practices
  • private religions
  • sacred spaces
  • secular spaces
  • territorial impacts
  • sustainable religious tourism

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 790 KiB  
Article
Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage Show: Exploring the Sustainable Development of Taiwan’s Religious Tourism from the Perspectives of Attraction, Happiness, and Revisit Intention
by Chih-Yu Liu, Cheng-Ping Li, Chao-Chief Chen, Chin-Hsien Hsu and Cheng-Hsien Lin
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8744; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118744 - 29 May 2023
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
The Dajia Mazu pilgrimage is one of the most well-known events in the world. It not only satisfies tourists’ spiritual desires for religious beliefs but also drives the development of destination tourism. In recent years, the tourism industry has been severely impacted by [...] Read more.
The Dajia Mazu pilgrimage is one of the most well-known events in the world. It not only satisfies tourists’ spiritual desires for religious beliefs but also drives the development of destination tourism. In recent years, the tourism industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19. However, tourists participating in the Dajia Mazu pilgrimage continue to do so without fear of the pandemic. Therefore, understanding the relationship between tourists’ attraction to religious tourism, perception of happiness, and willingness to revisit can contribute to the sustainable development of religious tourism, especially in the context of COVID-19. Accordingly, this study explored the sustainable development of Taiwan’s religious tourism from the perspectives of tourism attraction, experiential value, happiness, and revisit intention. The study conducted quantitative research to address the research issue. Three hundred and fifty valid questionnaires were collected through on-site questionnaire distribution, and the data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and the structural equation partial least squares method. According to the results, the tourism attraction of the Dajia Mazu pilgrimage and the experiential value of tourists significantly impact happiness and revisit intention. Happiness is part of the intermediary variables of tourism attraction, experiential value, and revisit intention. Notably, the attraction of the Dajia Mazu pilgrimage and the experiential value pursued by tourists have not diminished despite the pandemic. Instead, the attraction has become an opportunity for tourists to seek spiritual comfort and support sustainable religious tourism development. Accordingly, spiritual comfort and maintaining their health and safety can be considered strategies to promote the sustainability of religious tourism in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Religious Tourism)
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26 pages, 385 KiB  
Article
Journeys to Significant Places in Orthodoxy as a Source of Sustainable Local Development in Romania
by Daniela Sorea, Monica Defta and Ionuț Mihai Popescu
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5693; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075693 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Religious tourism has developed in post-communist Romania, after decades of restrictions on the manifestation of the population’s religiosity. New monasteries and hermitages appeared and the number of travellers eager to arrive visit those and other religious places has increased. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Religious tourism has developed in post-communist Romania, after decades of restrictions on the manifestation of the population’s religiosity. New monasteries and hermitages appeared and the number of travellers eager to arrive visit those and other religious places has increased. The purpose of this article is to support a sustainable orientation in the development of religious tourism in Romania. Content analysis of articles published by mass media in the last year regarding the two great Orthodox pilgrimages in Romania, to St. Parascheva in Iași and to St. Dimitrie the New in Bucharest, together with a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with group or solitary travellers and the results of two participatory observations conducted at monasteries in Făgăraș Land highlighted the types of journey to religiously significant places in contemporary Romania, i.e., pilgrimages, journeys to father confessor, spiritual journeys, group religious journeys and secular visits, as well as the particularities of hospitality related to them. Involving local communities in hosting and preparing meals for travellers to hermitages and monasteries would reduce pressure on monastic communities and contribute to sustainable local development. The inclusion of local historical sites in journey itineraries to religious places, and the revitalization of traditional local crafts would also contribute to this development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Religious Tourism)
20 pages, 1001 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Pilgrimage on the Meaning in Life and Life Satisfaction as Moderated by the Tourist’s Faith Maturity
by Kyuri Baek, Yunseon Choe, Seungjae Lee, Gyehee Lee and Tae-Il Pae
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052891 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5531
Abstract
Searching and finding meaning and happiness in life is the ultimate quest for humans. Pilgrimages embody special meanings and values. This research delves into the effects of pilgrimage experiences on meaning and life satisfaction via structure equation modeling (SEM) based on a bottom-up [...] Read more.
Searching and finding meaning and happiness in life is the ultimate quest for humans. Pilgrimages embody special meanings and values. This research delves into the effects of pilgrimage experiences on meaning and life satisfaction via structure equation modeling (SEM) based on a bottom-up approach to life satisfaction. Moreover, the moderating role that faith maturity plays between experience and meaning life is noteworthy, which was assessed based on Ping’s two-step procedure. For data collection, an on-line survey was conducted for those who had visited overseas Christian pilgrimage sites. A total of 257 responses were analyzed via SEM for hypothesis tests. The results of this study identified (1) the effect of the pilgrimage experience on meaning in life and life satisfaction, (2) the effect of the search for meaning on the construction of meaning in life, and (3) the effect of meaning in life on perceived life satisfaction, suggesting that the bottom-up approach holds true in the context of religious trips. It was also found that faith maturity had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between the experience of the pilgrimage and the presence of meaning in one’s life. This study contributes to the existing literature by incorporating travel experience into QOL domains and also taps on the possibility to expand the research topic into more contemporary modes of travel, including meditation travel and various forms of new travel linked to spirituality. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings to the tourism research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Religious Tourism)
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18 pages, 5249 KiB  
Article
Crowd Evacuation in Hajj Stoning Area: Planning through Modeling and Simulation
by Heba Kurdi, Amal Alzuhair, Dana Alotaibi, Hesah Alsweed, Noor Almoqayyad, Razan Albaqami, Alhanoof Althnian, Najla Alnabhan and A. B. M. Alim Al Islam
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042278 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2214
Abstract
Pilgrimage is one of the largest mass gatherings, where millions of Muslims gather annually from all over the world to perform Hajj. The stoning ritual during Hajj has been historically vulnerable to serious disasters that often cause severe impacts ranging from injuries to [...] Read more.
Pilgrimage is one of the largest mass gatherings, where millions of Muslims gather annually from all over the world to perform Hajj. The stoning ritual during Hajj has been historically vulnerable to serious disasters that often cause severe impacts ranging from injuries to death tolls. In efforts to minimize the number and extent of the disasters, the stoning area has been expanded recently. However, no research has been carried out to study the evacuation effectiveness of the current exit placements in the area, which lies at the heart of effective minimization of the number and extent of the disasters. Therefore, this paper presents an in-depth study on emergency evacuation planning for the extended stoning area. It presents a simulation model of the expanded stoning area with the current exit placement. In addition, we suggested and examined four different exit placements considering evacuation scenarios in case of no hazard as well as two realistic hazard scenarios covering fire and bomb hazards. The simulation studied three stoning phases, beginning of stoning, during the peak hour of stoning, and ending of stoning at three scales of population sizes. The performance was measured in the light of evacuation time, percentage of evacuees, and percentage of crowd at each exit. The experimental results revealed that the current exits are not optimally positioned, and evacuation can be significantly improved through introducing a few more exits, or even through changing positions of the current ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Religious Tourism)
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15 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
A Guest at Home: The Experience of Chinese Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago
by Ke Zhang, Victoria Labajo, Ignacio Ramos and Almudena González del Valle-Brena
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910658 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
This study identifies the main dimensions and attributes that shape the experience of the Camino de Santiago for Chinese travelers as a tourism product. By exploring the similarities and differences between their experiences and that of Western pilgrims, it also reflects on the [...] Read more.
This study identifies the main dimensions and attributes that shape the experience of the Camino de Santiago for Chinese travelers as a tourism product. By exploring the similarities and differences between their experiences and that of Western pilgrims, it also reflects on the sustainable marketing strategies of the Camino among Chinese travelers. The research adopts a phenomenological approach and gathers data from 112 online travel journals posted by Chinese Camino pilgrims, and from in-depth interviews with twelve Chinese pilgrims. The results reveal that the Camino is experienced by Chinese pilgrims as a personal journey of well-being and growth, as well as a cross-cultural experience. Authenticity and harmony are observed to be the key elements that contribute to a satisfying and transformative experience for Chinese pilgrims, where they find a cultural-spiritual center close to their traditional values, yet distant from their everyday social practices. Both Chinese and Western pilgrims undergo similar external and internal journeys, although each group travels in its respective sociocultural framework. The study is based on Cohen’s (1979) five travel-mode theory and enriches the discussion from a cross-cultural point of view. The implications for the sustainable management of the Camino as a global cultural heritage route, and for effectively marketing it among Chinese tourists, are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Religious Tourism)
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