Managing Religious Tourism Abstracts


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Managing Religious Tourism Abstracts

  1. 1. Managing the Religious Tourism Experience 19th-21st November 2009 - Nazaré, Portugal Book of Abstracts 1
  2. 2. Index 1) ‘Managing the Religious Tourism Experience’ ...................................................4 Dr Nigel D Morpeth 4 2) Can We Influence Effectively the Duration of the Religious Visit? ...................5 Christos Petreas 5 3) A Preliminary Study of Visitors to Merv (Turkmenistan)....................................6 Dr Jonathan Edwards 6 Roger Vaughan. 6 4) Religion, Remembrance and the ‘Rock’: Current trends in Australian Religious Tourism ..........................................................................................................7 Mr Nigel Bond 7 Dr Lisa Ruhanen 7 5) Developing Religious Tourism in Emerging Destinations: Experiences from Mtskheta (Georgia) ........................................................................................8 Carlos Fernandes 8 6) The Interpretation of the Shared Past Within the World Heritage Site of Goreme, Cappadocia ....................................................................................................9 Elizabeth Carnegie 9 Hazel Tucker 9 7) Visitors Experience of Travel to the City of Heaven (Madinah) .......................10 Razaq Raj 10 8) Between Pilgrimage and Tourism: Organization and Promotion of Shared Spaces ..........................................................................................................11 Noga Collins-Kreiner, 11 9) Travelling in Nazaré: Between Faith, Reality and Fiction.................................12 Isilda Leitão 12 10) Jesuitengunea: The Society of Jesus´ Tourism Development Project in the Province Loyola (Spain) ..............................................................................13 Amaia Makua 13 Roberto San Salvador del Valle. 13 Magdalena Izaguirre 13 11) The Spiritual Quest: Europe’s Common Sacred Ground (A Historic Overview)14 Cristina Carvalho 14 12) The Role of a Religious Tourism Strategy for the West and North West of Ireland in furthering the development of tourism in the region. ..........................15 Frances McGettigan 15 Corina Griffin 15 Fiona Candon 15 13) Those Who Come to Pray and Those who Come to Look: Interactions Between Visitors and Congregations ........................................................................16 Maureen Griffiths 16 14) The Festivities of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, Azores .........................17 Vítor Ambrósio 17 15) Sustaining Churches Through Managing Tourism. A Review of Current Practices in Derbyshire, England...............................................................18 Peter Wiltshier 18 16) Aspects Regarding the Religious Tourism Experience in Romanian Christian Orthodoxy: A Monasteries Abbots’ Perceptions ......................................19 Alexandra-Maria îrca 19 Professor PhD Gabriela Cecilia Stănciulescu 19 17) Conflict Resolution, Middlemen Minorities and Heritage Tourism in Nazareth: The Case of Nazareth Village......................................................................20 Amos S. Ron, Ph.D. 20 2
  3. 3. 18) The Museum as Visitor Experience: Displaying Sacred Haitian Vodou Objects21 Maaike de Jong 21 19) Porto and the Emotions Given by the St. John’s Celebrations: A Special Interest Tourist Experience ......................................................................................22 Susana Ribeiro, 22 20) A Comparison of Domestic Pilgrims at Polish and Irish Sites ........................23 Dr. Kevin Griffin 23 21) The Two Sides of the Coin: Visitors and ICT for Managing Ecclesiastic Heritage .......................................................................................................................24 Clara S. Petrillo, 24 Olga Lo Presti, 24 22) Accompanying Religious and Non-Religious Groups to Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha..........................................................................................................25 Carla Braga 25 3
  4. 4. 1) ‘Managing the Religious Tourism Experience’ Dr Nigel D Morpeth Leeds Metropolitan University Keywords: Church, Volunteers, Tourism, Management This paper reports on research related to the management of religious attractions in the UK to specifically gain insights into the capacity of religious places of worship to both share and promote sacred and spiritual places, as places for tourists to visit . The background to the context of this research is to further consider important questions arising from the introduction of ‘new’ financial and pricing management strategies by cathedral authorities within UK cathedrals and more widely by tourism organisations to promote churches as venues for special interest tourism, namely Church Tourism. The purpose of this work is to provide theoretical and empirical insights on: The implications of managing UK cathedrals and churches using finite resources both in terms of staff (volunteers) and limited operational budgets to both maintain places for worship and leisure visitation Consumer expectations as to what religious authorities should offer visitors in terms of places for spiritual engagement but also educational, information and entertainment experiences The potential policy dissonance between church and cathedral authorities, local authorities and tourist organisations in product development and marketing of religious resources as part of destination marketing. 4
  5. 5. 2) Can We Influence Effectively the Duration of the Religious Visit? Christos Petreas Business & Tourism Economist Keywords: Religious Tourism, Visit Characteristics, Motivation, Meteora, Greece Religious and pilgrimage tourism activity world wide is on the increase. Of the increased travel in the Middle East, most is considered to be religious related (Mintel 2005). According to a study by Travel Agent Globus (Globus 2007) one third of all US international travellers (close to 16 million adults) are likely to take a religious related vacation. Kevin Wright, President of the Word Religious Tourist Association (WRTA – 2009) considers religious travel an 18 billion US$ industry with 300 million travellers. In the Globus study (2007) it is reported that 42% of the potential religious travelers want variety – a 50/50 mix of religious and non religious activities. Jafar Jafari’s Encyclopedia of Tourism (2000) states as one of the three forms of religious tourism “tours and visits of religious places and buildings within the framework of a tourists itinerary”. In most cases, the religious tourism activity refers to religious monument – sites visitation, and the visit’s duration is just part of a day excursion or day programme, thus limiting the anticipated positive effects of the visits in the local community and the area tourist enterprises. In looking through the description of religious tour itineraries, the main characteristic is that they rarely spend more than a few hours in a specific site or location, thus making the visit of each site very short. To what extent this is satisfactory to the tourist is one aspect, but it is definitely not satisfactory to the local tourist businesses that have a very limited exposure to the visitors, to offer their services and gain sales. Not to differ, this situation is experienced in many religious sites in Greece. Tinos, a very popular pilgrimage site for the Virgin Mary (also considered a miraculous site), primarily receives day visitors, who come by boat and return the same day. Meteora (a UNESCO site with 6 visitable monasteries), one of top visited sites in Greece (estimates of over one million visitors) experiences overnights of not more than about ¼ of the total visitor numbers, while the religious and non religious attractions of the area could justify a multi-day stay. The interest to retain the “religious visitor” for a longer stay in the specific site or shrine, is becoming a major concern of the tourism professionals and affects directly the economy of the area. The “length of the religious tourism visit” has thus become a tourism development issue. The author has investigated this issue through a series of research activities in the area of Meteora; he has interviewed local tourist enterprises, representatives of the Monasteries, and mounted a field research with questionnaires to tourists. The paper investigates the characteristics of this practice and the factors to which this is attributed, though the analysis of data from the visits to the site of Meteora in Central Greece. The paper identifies a number of factors that explain this situation and proposes certain actions to achieve at least one overnight. 5
  6. 6. 3) A Preliminary Study of Visitors to Merv (Turkmenistan) Dr Jonathan Edwards Roger Vaughan. Bournemouth University. Keywords: Visitors, Pilgrims, Merv-Turkmenistan Merv was the first of the World Heritage Sites in Turkmenistan to be designated by UNESCO (1999) having been nationally designated in 1987 as “Ancient Merv” a State Historical and Cultural reserve. This Archaeological Park contains early city-sites, for exampe the Seljuk city Sultan-Kala and religious or sacred buildings including the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar dating from the 12th century and another group of buildings erected in the 16th century to honor the eminent 12th-century Sufi scholar Hodja Yusup Hamadani. This shrine is a particularly notable focus of pilgrimage and has associated with it a series of buildings for religious observance and sacrifice. This paper presents a preliminary analysis of the responses of Turkmen visitors to Merv. The aim of the paper is firstly to determine a preliminary profile of visitors to a site which has historic and cultural significance for some and is a venue of shrine pilgrimage for others; secondly to review the respondent’s assessment of the management of a visitor attraction where tribal traditions and Islamic beliefs and practices are a key consideration for visitors and site managers. The preliminary conclusions support observations at other sites in Turkmenistan that clearly demonstrate that following more than 100 years of Russian / Soviet colonization and particularly the 65 years of Soviet policies which sought to portray any form of religious belief and practice as a sign of ignorance that the Turkmen Sufi inspired form of Islam that accommodates older pre-Islamic beliefs and customs, integrated into a tribal society remains vibrant for an as yet, undetermined percentage of the Turkmen nation. 6
  7. 7. 4) Religion, Remembrance and the ‘Rock’: Current trends in Australian Religious Tourism Mr Nigel Bond University of Queensland School of Tourism Dr Lisa Ruhanen University of Queensland School of Tourism Keywords: Cultural-Heritage, Remembrance, Religiosity This paper draws on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Tourism Research Australia to examine the current status, demand and potential of religious tourism in Australia. It presents an analysis of current Australian religiosity, and discusses Australian tendency towards secular and civil religion. An analysis of current travel patterns suggests that Australia is presently not a major inbound religious tourism destination, nor is it a major source market of religious tourists. However, while religious tourism per se is not currently a significant segment of Australia’s inbound tourism, this research shows that cultural-heritage is certainly a major component of Australia’s tourism product. A review of Australian religiosity indicates that the distance between practicing and nominal Christians is being redressed through secular spiritualities or at lest non-Church institutional contexts. As such, the opportunities for religious tourism in a traditional sense show less scope for growth than secular or civil religion. Undertaking journeys to such places as the Canberra War Memorial for domestic tourists, or internationally travelling to significant Australian battle sites such as Gallipoli are becoming an increasingly important part of the Australian travel experience. An analysis of Australia’s religious tourism sites shows that there are only a small number of (non- Indigenous) religious sites that attract international or domestic visitors on a regular basis. Such sites include the Church of Our Lady of Yankailla (South Australia) and Saint Mary’s Cathedral (New South Wales). Despite paucity of significant religious sites, Australia does host several significant religious festivals. These include the Buddha’s Birthday festivals held across several states around the country. One such Festival (in Brisbane Queensland) is now the largest religious/cultural festival in Australia attracting over 150,000 visitors annually. The results of this research suggest that the future for both inbound and outbound religious and cultural tourism in Australia appears positive and certainly an area with scope for growth. Australian’s love of the Outback, and reverence for the landscape could be used as a catalyst to create an interest in more spiritually-focussed travel, directed both at the natural landscape, and/or at some of the many historic churches or religious buildings that cover the country. 7
  8. 8. 5) Developing Religious Tourism in Emerging Destinations: Experiences from Mtskheta (Georgia)1 Carlos Fernandes Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo Keywords: Religious Heritage And Tourism Revitalization Mtskheta is a historical town within a few kilometres northwest of Georgia´s national capital of Tbilisi. The “historic churches of Mtskheta” comprise a group of churches that are listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site as they bear testimony to the high level and art and culture of the vanished Kingdom of Georgia, which played an outstanding role in the medieval history of its region and are outstanding examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in the Caucasus region (UNESCO, 2008). Traditionally, Georgia is not a tourism oriented country. But in the last few years the entire country has been undergoing tourism revitalization. Ancient historic monuments such as the “historic churches of Mtskheta” are seen as favourable conditions in which tourism can flourish. Rehabilitating historical facades of monuments in historical towns is common practice in Georgia. But no management plan exists for rehabilitating and maintaining cultural and historic monuments. In fact, UNESCO (2008) identified certain threats to the religious heritage sites of Mtskheta which include: the lack of a management mechanism; insufficient coordination between the Georgian Church and the national Authorities; need to re-define core and buffer zones; and loss of authenticity due to recent “erroneous reconstruction” works carried out by the Church. This comes at a time when expectations of today´s experiential traveler are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy. The increasingly competitive tourism market requires that destination planning and development differentiate the tourism product by monitoring current trends which serve to identify demand, new market potentials, areas of possible investment and infrastructural requirements. Destinations need to create great people places of exceptional character, quality and planning and where the experiences are exciting, rich with activity and highly memorable (Dios, 2008). Mtskheta potential to become an important tourist attraction and contribute to putting Georgia on the tourist map is further threatened by the lack of emotional added value (ambience, experience, entertainment, adventure, and contact with local lifestyles). The objective of this paper is to define strategic imperatives within which to develop the appropriate framework should the Mtskheta Region of Georgia hope to develop its potential for religious tourism and profit from tourism in the long term. Observational data was collected during a visit to the site. Consequently, efforts are underway to develop future research using alternative methods such as surveys. 1 Research conducted during a visit to Georgia in September 2009, under the “Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window for Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan” Project, funded by the European Union, under the Erasmus Mundus Programme. 8
  9. 9. 6) The Interpretation of the Shared Past Within the World Heritage Site of Goreme, Cappadocia Elizabeth Carnegie University of Sheffield, U.K. Hazel Tucker University of Otago, New Zealand Keywords: Byzantine churches, visitors, tour guides The Byzantine history of the World Heritage Site of Göreme (inscribed 1985) has become embedded as the dominant narrative and key historic period interpreted within the ‘open air’ museum. Focusing on the Christian nature of the site endows it with international legitimacy which enables it to attract large numbers of Western tourists. By emphasising this Byzantine past, formally trained local guides, who are invariably drawn from other faith communities, are highlighting how cultural memory and identity shaping can operate within tourism as a powerful discourse, silencing certain narratives about the past and privileging others. Moreover, discussions with local guides suggest there is an expectation that, as a Christian site, it will be experienced by tourists as a place of pilgrimage. Based on fieldwork carried out in November 2008 and September 2009, and drawing on Tucker’s longitudinal study of the region, this paper examines how the site is interpreted. Fieldwork included participant observation, interviews with tour guides, museum workers and local and international tourists, representing a number of religions and cultures. Through exploring attitudes to and knowledge of the Christian scenes depicted within the cave structures and the time frame explored within the representational framework, our study details the religious tensions within the interpretation and management of the site for tourist purposes. Thus our paper considers these tensions from multiple viewpoints including from Islamic perspectives (locals and tour guides) and of tourists (cultural tourist visitors and pilgrims) and explores the management issues that impact on the experience and long term care and development of the site. In so doing our research discloses how these multiple narratives contradict, challenge and subvert the dominant WHS interpretation. 9
  10. 10. 7) Visitors Experience of Travel to the City of Heaven (Madinah) Razaq Raj Leeds Metropolitan University Keywords: Experience, Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), West In the modern society which, by definition is increasingly secular and culturally motivated. The Hajj is considered the culmination of each Muslim's religious duties and aspiration. It is stated in the Holy Qur'an, that every physically and financially able Muslim should make the Hajj to the Holy City of Makkah once in his or her lifetime. The Muslim travel to the city of Madinah, after performing the Hajj, as part of religious believes, not as an escape for leisure and entertainment. It is not like any other pilgrimage in the world, where people go on pilgrim sites as attention of tourism. The people who go to Madinah feeling unanimous in the view that nothing can quite prepare them for the sheer beauty of the experience and the overwhelming feeling of humbleness that overcomes them during the pilgrim of Madinah. Nolan and Nolan (1992) remind us that ‘if a tourist is half a pilgrim, then a pilgrim is half a tourist’ expresses the complexity of the blurred conceptual boundaries which might hamper the analysis of what constitutes a religious tourist. Furthermore their classification of what constitutes a tourist system in which a variety of types of religious tourist attractions exist, highlights the increasing pressures of visitation patterns within the burgeoning context of an experience sector (Richards, 2001). The acute pressures are related to religious venues trying to cater for both sacred and secular visitation. This paper will begin with the Islamic approach to life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and explain the principles on which Islamic values for society are based according to the teachings Allah (SWT) and the perfect examples of his Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The paper will explore the experience of individual participant visiting the City like heaven for tourists. The paper will discuss main principle rites and experiences of visiting and they're meaning to an individual person. 10
  11. 11. 8) Between Pilgrimage and Tourism: Organization and Promotion of Shared Spaces Noga Collins-Kreiner, University of Haifa, Israel Keywords: Pilgrimage, Bahai, World Heritage Site This paper aims to give recommendations for development, organization and promotion of shared spaces of pilgrimage and tourism while exploring the inherent contradiction and conflict that arise when sacred sites are marketed as secular for the promotion of tourism. The case study used for demonstration is the Baha’i Gardens and shrine in Israel which have also become a World Heritage Site in 2008. They were found to be multi-dimensional spaces characterized by two different socio-spatial processes and practices that co-exist - the tourist’s and the pilgrim’s. The differences are identified by space, time and content. These practices transform the holy site into a secular shared community asset. The study employs a mixed methodological approach. The researcher engaged in participant observation and had short informal and unstructured discussions with Baha’i volunteers and guides. As a participant observer, the author participated in the tours as a tourist and researcher many times since the year 2001. Archival material from a variety of resources including the Baha’i, the municipality of Haifa, printed news outlets, the internet, and other Baha’i resources were accessed. With respect to internet resources, access to pilgrim diaries has provided key data not readily available to non-Baha’i. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were performed to provide additional data on the spatial practices and strategies of the Baha’i staff and local leaders. The background used to explain this issue is the understanding that pilgrims and tourists are distinct entities situated at opposite ends of a continuum of travel. The polarities on the pilgrimage-tourism axis are labeled sacred versus secular, and between them ranges an almost endless list of possible sacred-secular combinations, with the central area generally termed “religious tourism”. These positions reflect the multiple and changing motivations of the traveler whose interests and activities may switch from tourism to pilgrimage and vice versa, even as the individual may be unaware of the change. The paper concludes with a discussion of the broader implications concerning the efficacy of developing a “layered” experience as found in the case of the Baha’i in order to try and avoid conflict and improve benefits for the local population. It will also give recommendations for development, organization and promotion of other shared spaces of pilgrimage and tourism in the world. 11
  12. 12. 9) Travelling in Nazaré: Between Faith, Reality and Fiction Isilda Leitão Coordinator of History and Culture Area in ESHTE Keywords: Travel Literature, Sacred and Tourism Nazaré, a symbolical, religious and mythical place, had motivated the interest of some Portuguese intellectuals, from XIX and XX centuries, who represented it and go there not only by the mythical charge of the sacred, but also by the picturesque of the daily life of the people and their fishing labour. With this communication, we aim to share some of the moments of their experiences, fixed both in Literature and the Art. Introduction - We intend to provide some of the geographical, historical, and social contexts, which makes Nazaré a place of attraction during centuries, connecting it with others sacred territories in the Atlantic Coast, since Moyen Age. Methodology - To this study we have research in some specialised Religious bibliography and in travel books of Portuguese authors like Ramalho Ortigão, Miguel Torga, José Saramago, between others, and in painters like José de Almada Negreiros, to evaluate what could represent Nazaré to the Contemporary Age. Last Reflections - We can say that nowadays Nazaré still remains not only one of the centres of the "sun and beach", cultural and picturesque tourism, but also, in the imaginary of people, the place where the Archetypal Feminine or Great Mother once was revealed to men... 12
  13. 13. 10) Jesuitengunea: The Society of Jesus´ Tourism Development Project in the Province Loyola (Spain) Amaia Makua University of Deusto. Roberto San Salvador del Valle. University of Deusto. Magdalena Izaguirre University of Deusto. Keywords: Humanist Leisure experience, religious tourism, tourism chain of value The Society of Jesus works since 2007 in the JesuitenGunea Project, which aims to tell the world about the Identity, the History and the Mission of the Society through the development of a tourist package bound to the Jesuit Heritage in the Province of Loyola, where the Society has its most ancient roots. The Society is committed to the support of its heritage with a well defined philosophy regarding its visitors (with recreative, spiritual, scholastic and scientific motivations) and their living of meaningful leisure experiences. The contents of the paper is as follows: The bases of JesuitenGunea in the Province of Loyola (Spain): its goal, the visitors reception points (Sanctuaries of Loyola and Javier and the University of Deusto) and their attractions. The philosophic and conceptual keys of the project: The humanist leisure experience and its objective and subjective dimensions The particular interpretation of the “door” concept and its application to this project. As a result a chart combining visitors’ ´motivations, objectives of the visit and contents offered for the individual readiness to live memorable leisure experiences. The tourist chain of value for the conversion of the resources into a tourist package. The methodology and project structure. The proposals for intervention in the Sanctuary of Loyola: supported by a diagnosis of the Sanctuaries (SWOT Analysis), a Vision & Mission are formulated and defined by action axis and specific actions. The program “Visits with a Soul” in the Sanctuary of Loyola: a pilot experience in the Sanctuary of Loyola: the firs specific action that takes place has been this guided visit program during the 2009 summer. The evaluation of the initiative will be presented. 13
  14. 14. 11) The Spiritual Quest: Europe’s Common Sacred Ground (A Historic Overview) Cristina Carvalho Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies Keywords: History, Tourism, (Spiritual) Quest. While some scholars commit themselves to debate the economic, sociological and urban impacts tourism has on certain sacred sites focusing on ‘Cause and Effect’ matters, historians prefer to work as ‘memory collectors’, gathering information on the ‘When’, ‘Who’ and ‘Why’, according to the different stages of evolution of societies. To understand the present one must know the past, in order to better prepare the future. This presentation will not focus on a case study per se, but rather travel through Time to recall Europe’s spiritual quest from Pre-historic days up to now. That is why it is so hard to define ‘Religious Tourism’, since the quest is still on and academic perspectives are manifold. Mankind’s reverence towards higher powers began inside caves and was later displayed on open-air stone structures known as megaliths. Then the Ancient Greeks journeyed to attend athletic games where gods like Zeus were worshiped, but Christianity would erase those events, alongside with all Pagan references across the Roman Empire. As for Portugal, after a few centuries under the Moorish influence, the 12th century was marked by the actions of St. Bernard, who persevered for Portugal’s foundation and the spreading of the Marian cult, while north-European believers travelled to Santiago de Compostella’s shrine, in Galicia. Skipping to the 16th century, the golden age of the Portuguese Discoveries was a paradoxal period when Lisbon’s harbour witnessed the arrival of overseas treasures and also recurrent outbreaks of plague. Two devotional displays were then created in order to request God’s mercy: the pilgrimage to Guia’s hermitage, in Cascais, and the procession to Our Lady of Health. Proceeding to the 18th century, John V sponsored the construction or journeyed as pilgrim to the Marian sanctuaries located uphill in Lamego, and at the headlands of Espichel and Nazaré. However, Portugal’s real large-scale pilgrimage centre would only progressively rise in Fátima during the Dictatorship of the 20th century, after the 1917 apparitions of Our Lady to three young shepherds. On the other hand, since the 1960s Europe has been witnessing the revival of Pagan practises that turned archaeological sites protected by the UNESCO, like Stonehenge and Avebury, into New Age temples. At the beginning of the 21st century, the contemporary techno-worshipper attends online masses on wireless laptops, proving that despite the means the quest remains unchanged. 14
  15. 15. 12) The Role of a Religious Tourism Strategy for the West and North West of Ireland in furthering the development of tourism in the region. Frances McGettigan Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland FMcGettigan@AIT.IE Corina Griffin Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland Fiona Candon First Western Consultants Keywords: Co-operation,. Strategy. Implementation. Despite the fact that the West of Ireland receives 16% of foreign visitors to Ireland and the North West receives only 6% of foreign visitors to Ireland there is potential for further tourism development in this region. Religious tourism in particular remains hugely under-developed despite the existence of three world-renowned religious sites (Knock Shrine, Croagh Patrick, and Lough Derg Penitential Site) in this region of Ireland. In 2008, however, the Irish National Tourism Development Authority Fáilte Ireland commissioned the development of an integrated strategy for positioning the West and North West region of Ireland as a world renowned destination for spiritual tourism. It was proposed that this would be done through innovation in the current and new product offering, under the premise that visitors would be enticed to stay longer if diverse products and niche experiences were made available. This paper aims to explain how a bottom-up and inter- regional approach was adopted to drive the process to develop a Spiritual Tourism Strategy for the region. Details of the strategy are outlined in the paper and in particular, an examination of the implementation process. In this context, the importance of institutional arrangements, co-operation, networking, partnership, and packaging are key factors responsible for successfully implementing this strategy. Methodology. At the outset communication took place between Athlone Institute of Technology and First Western Consultants.. A review of existing literature on spiritual tourism was conducted. First Western Consultants were responsible for data collection from interviews with national and international tourism stakeholders and tour operators. Two regional consultation meetings established the strategy vision and developed priority actions for spiritual tourism in the region. Other consultations took place with stakeholders with a remit or interest in the industry. Parallel to this Athlone Institute of Technology was conducting research including the nature of the visitor experience at Lough Derg Penitential Site, Co. Donegal which added to the content and thrust of the final strategy. 15
  16. 16. 13) Those Who Come to Pray and Those who Come to Look: Interactions Between Visitors and Congregations Maureen Griffiths Tourism Research Unit at Monash University, Australia Keywords: visitor experience, congregation While much of the literature relating to religious tourism concentrates on pilgrimage and those visiting shrines and religious sites with religious intentions, little has been written of those who visit for other reasons and how these two groups interact. Those wishing to pray may expect a level of serenity that may not be accommodated by those wishing to view architectural features. The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between the congregations and visitors at two major religious sites which receive significant numbers of visitors for other than religious reasons. While the congregation attends the religious sites at specific times for a specific purpose, the visitors come and go irregularly. It is the interactions between these two groups and their attitudes towards one another in relation to the use of these sites that forms the focus of this paper. There are implications for site managers if visitors to religious sites have motivations which conflict with those of the congregation and resulting interactions between the groups then become less than harmonious. If conflict arises then the congregation could become unhappy, adversely affecting the visitor experience. This paper considers the views of visitors who were surveyed to find out, among other things, the reason for their visit and their attitudes to the religious aspects of the cathedral and the congregation. Members of the congregations were similarly asked about their attitudes towards the visitors. Another issue that was canvassed with both visitors and the congregations was that of entrance fees being charged at the cathedrals. It was found that, overwhelmingly, the congregations are happy for the visitors to attend the cathedrals and participate in worship but that significant numbers dislike being observed. 16
  17. 17. 14) The Festivities of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, Azores Vítor Ambrósio Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE) Keywords: Devotion to Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres; Azores. The devotion to Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres is evident amongst the population of São Miguel, Azores (Portugal), but it spreads beyond it, into the other islands, mainland Portugal and the migrating Diaspora, mainly in North America (United States and Canada). For more than 300 years, the imposing procession takes place in the capital of the archipelago, Ponta Delgada, bringing together in homage to the “Ecce Homo” not only the devotee, but also the local social powers. The most evident feature of this devotion to God can be seen in the festivities that are held every year, on the fifth week after Easter Sunday, finishing with the procession on the Sunday before Ascension. The brotherhood’s board is responsible for the organization of the festivities and its main goal is to encourage the devotion to Santo Cristo dos Milagres, especially the procession and the festivities that surround it. During the festivities most hotels reach full occupancy. Most of their guests come from mainland Portugal and from North America. The latter ones are either immigrants or their descendents who left the islands searching for better living conditions in the United States and in Canada. In order to know the tourist impact of the last festivities and the behavioural characteristics of the guests lodged in the hotels, the Azorean Government commissioned a study to Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE). Around 420 tourists were surveyed and their answers allowed for the systematization of the data: to trace their social-demographical characteristics; to define the religious traits and to map out complementary logistics. In the paper/communication I will present the results of the above-mentioned study and I will propose to make a similar study during the next September religious festivities of Our Lady of Nazaré (Portugal), in Nazaré so as to expand the tourist demand to that destination. 17
  18. 18. 15) Sustaining Churches Through Managing Tourism. A Review of Current Practices in Derbyshire, England Peter Wiltshier University of Derby Buxton Keywords: Church, tourism, tourism management, partnerships, visitor experience This report identifies the importance placed by the Church to the provision of services for visitors in Derbyshire. The project was commissioned by the Industrial Mission, Church of England, in the Diocese of Derby. The outcomes and output of the project are assessed for the twin purposes of meeting the expectations of the Anglican Church and the extent to which tourism can support the Church. In Derbyshire, the Church, a Christian place of worship for more than a millennium, offers visitors a clear and unambiguous attraction yet spiritual and religious tourism remains one of the most understudied areas (Ron, 2007). People now travel for a variety of complex personal needs as they aim for some spiritual nirvana, or self- actualisation (Hall, cited in Timothy & Olsen, 2007). Opinion Research Business (ORB) research conducted in 2003 identified that 90% of people in England went into a church building at least once in any year (Sheppard, 2006: 10). Using an inductive and interpretive approach a representative sample of church staff was interviewed. The report identifies a model of tourism management that can be used by churches to benefit the community as well as the visitor. Partnerships between the sacred and the secular are explored for the mutual benefit of concerned parties. Some churches identified are taking advantage of localised resources that deliver a successful tourism product. It is therefore a cautious nod that is given to the partnership approach and very much a tailor-made model of accessible tourism development that is proposed for the future. 18
  19. 19. 16) Aspects Regarding the Religious Tourism Experience in Romanian Christian Orthodoxy: A Monasteries Abbots’ Perceptions Alexandra-Maria îrca Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania Professor PhD Gabriela Cecilia Stănciulescu Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies Keywords: Religious tourism; Romania; Orthodox monasteries. For hundreds of years, people have been travelling to places deemed as sacred to meet or to worship Divinity. Religion-motivated tourism is extremely important in many parts of the world. In Romania, the only Latin country in East-Central Europe and the only Latin country whose main religion is Orthodox Christian, religious ceremonies to celebrate Saints’ days as well as all the related places and relics represent places for prayer and meeting with God for millions of people. The aim of this paper is to investigate the issue of the religious tourism experience for a religion considered to be conservative and traditionalist in relation to other denominations. In order to achieve this end, firstly we distinguish the behavioural characteristics and motivations of the religious sites’ visitors through the abbots’ gaze and secondly, we explore the typology of the services provided by religious sites to religious tourists. The research method of this study was a questionnaire based survey among more than one hundred monasteries’ superiors from different regions of Romania, places known as “holy or sacred” destinations for the Romanian religious people. Results indicated that abbots’ expectations concerning their visitors are focused on religious matters, but they are also interested in offering touristic related facilities. Moreover, they do not neglect the commercial side of the monastery life. The article concludes with an examination of the possible management issues brought by an increased number of visitors at the religious settlement. 19
  20. 20. 17) Conflict Resolution, Middlemen Minorities and Heritage Tourism in Nazareth: The Case of Nazareth Village Amos S. Ron, Ph.D. Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel Keywords: Managing heritage sites in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural settings can be difficult and even 'explosive', since heritage is not an objective term, but rather, something that can be interpreted in several ways, and therefore, can be contested and debated. Nazareth Village in Nazareth, Israel (established in 2000) is such an example. It is a heritage Christian theme site that presents – using staged authenticity - daily life in the time of Jesus. The cultural context of Nazareth is a complex one. On the one hand, it is an Arab city in the Jewish- Israeli State, but on the other hand, it is set within a bicultural community (Christian and Muslim) that is experiencing a rapid process of Islamization. In this highly explosive setting, Nazareth Village has established itself as a relatively non-controversial and non-contested heritage site amongst the Arabs in Galilee. As one indicator of cultural success, we can observe their attitude towards the non- Christian heritage of their Muslim neighbors. Originally, the developers’ aim was to attract foreign Christian tourists, but in the course of the recent Intifada, when few tourists visited the country, they had to change their clientele in order to survive, and surprisingly, the site became very popular among Muslim schools in Israel. During those years, the common narrative presented to young Muslim visitors was that the site was preserving the rapidly disappearing material culture of rural Palestine, or in other words, “We - at Nazareth Village - are presenting and protecting your heritage”. Considering the cultural complexity of Israel, such an occurrence is a success. One possible way to explain it is in light of Bonacich’s Theory of Middleman Minorities, which suggests that such people have the “functional advantages of foreignness”, and are therefore free to deal with anyone; they have a “...peculiar ability to create success out of hatred”. The research methodology in this case is qualitative, and consists of observations, participant observations and in-depth interviews with the local guides, the managers, and members of the Board of Directors. The site was established, and is managed by a North American Mennonite organization. Quite a few members and the founding director are not local and can be regarded as representatives of a middleman minority. The research findings point to several cases where success was achieved precisely because they were perceived to be neutral and not members of one local group or another. The main conclusion of the research is that the development of heritage sites in conflict areas by an appropriate middleman minority can be a useful and powerful tool in the management and resolution of cultural conflicts. 20
  21. 21. 18) The Museum as Visitor Experience: Displaying Sacred Haitian Vodou2 Objects Maaike de Jong University Qatar (former CHN University) Keywords: In an age when religion and religious interpretation have become popular subjects for debate, the question emerges: How can museums fulfill their roles as managers of collections and interpreters of culturally sensitive Diaspora African objects? This research, The Museum as Visitor Experience: Displaying Sacred Haitian Vodou Objects discusses how museums can integrate traditions of the past, the demands of the present, and the opportunities for the future as they engage in a discourse about sacred objects in a museum context. It looks at the museum experience from a visitor’s point of view. It integrates qualitative research and draws from fields such as the “experience economy” and “museum studies”. The “Vodou” exhibition at the Amsterdam Tropical museum, The Netherlands (210.000 visitors on yearly basis, this making it a substantial Amsterdam visitor attraction), was used as a case study. This paper provides an insight into the visitor’s interpretation of Haitian sacred objects and the sacred nature of non-religious objects. It covers a range of topics including design criteria for representing spirituality to visitors and sharing authority with source communities. 2 Haitian Vodou is a syncretic[1] religion from the country of Haiti. It is based upon a assimilation of the spiritual values and practices of West African peoples, (mainly the Fon and Ewe; see West African Vodun), with Roman Catholic Worship, which was brought about as African slaves were brought to Haiti in the 16th century and required to convert to the religious belief systems of their slaveholders, while at the same time maintaining their African spiritual values. [2] Stevens-Arroyo, A.M. (2002). "The Contribution of Catholic Orthodoxy to Caribbean Syncretism" (PDF). Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 19 (117 (January- March)): 37-58. Retrieved 10-10-2009 and The Book of Vodou, Gordon, L. p 10 21
  22. 22. 19) Porto and the Emotions Given by the St. John’s Celebrations: A Special Interest Tourist Experience Susana Ribeiro, Câmara Municipal do Porto, Universidade Lusófona do Porto e Associação Portuguesa de Turismologia Keywords: Events and experiences, planning and destination management, special interest tourism Porto is a historical tourist city and its historical centre has been Cultural Heritage Site for 13 years. A recent study shows that the main reasons for visiting Porto are holidays and leisure. Monuments and gastronomy (Port Wine) is what tourists find most interesting. Does this indicate that tourists coming to this city are driven by cultural interests? According to the same study, 43% of the tourists return home quite satisfied with Porto, and even 93% recommend the destination. However, only 32% have the intention of doing it again. So, they appreciate and recommend the city, and this is positive, but a significant part believes that Porto has nothing else to show. Is this true? Or does this mean that Porto should diversify, creating new reasons to (re) visit this old town? History indicates that the St. John’s celebrations have been the ex-libris of Porto’s spirit for approximately 700 years. It is believed that such cultural expression, traditionally spontaneous, may please an audience that it’s moved by special interests, looking for particular aspects of a culture or an event in the places it visits, to keep memory, not only of a souvenir or an emotion, but also of knowledge acquired, a unique experience that St. John’s celebrations can induce, satisfying and adding value to the trip. It’s time to plan and manage this tourism destination, as a city of culture, of religious-profane traditions, and of events, and the probability of providing major contributions to city reputation and to the indispensable tourism development will be higher . 22
  23. 23. 20) A Comparison of Domestic Pilgrims at Polish and Irish Sites Dr. Kevin Griffin Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland Keywords: Experience, Motivation, Comparative research For some, the motives behind much modern pilgrimage are an extension of ordinary religious devotion. At the simplest level, pilgrimage may be no more than a desire to visit other religious centres, based on the same kind of curiosity that drives the tourist to seek out monuments of art or history, but with a different and more personal subject as its focus. However, in reviewing research that is specific to pilgrimage tourism, the complexity of motivations acting upon pilgrims makes such simplistic definitions difficult to accept. For example, studies carried out in Japan, by Reader (2005) suggest a variety of motivations for pilgrimage, with few pilgrims identifying just one reason. Likewise, Fleischer (2000), in a study of pilgrims to the Holy Land, suggests that those who regard themselves as pilgrims have different personal characteristics and visitation patterns from other tourists visiting Israel. Turner and Turner (1978:20) (in Digance 2003) believed pilgrimage to be a liminal phenomenon which lingers at the fringe of religious life, and that the element of communitas i.e. the feeling of brotherhood among pilgrims, is a key characteristic of pilgrimage. They claim “a tourist is half a pilgrim, if a pilgrim is half a tourist”. The aim of this paper is to explore some of these contradictory (or even conflicting) themes and challenges, to interrogate the experience of domestic pilgrimage in both Ireland and Poland. Using three small-scale surveys of pilgrims as a lens for investigation, it aims to identify some commonalities and contrasts in the areas of motivation, expectation and experience. This paper is based on primary research undertaken by the author with pilgrims on a day trip to a National shrine in Ireland, and work undertaken at a number of Irish and Polish sites by postgraduate students in undertaking their own postgraduate research. 23
  24. 24. 21) The Two Sides of the Coin: Visitors and ICT for Managing Ecclesiastic Heritage Clara S. Petrillo, Istituto di Ricerche sulle Attività Terziarie, Napoli, Italia. Olga Lo Presti, Istituto di Ricerche sulle Attività Terziarie, Napoli, Italia. Keywords: ecclesiastic heritage, religious tourism experience, new technology. Visitors to ecclesiastic sites have very different interests, values, characteristics, behaviours and expenditure patterns. Heritage tourism – and even more religious tourism - is a phenomenon based on tourists’ motivations and perceptions rather than on the site’s attributes and objective classification. Heritage protection and tourism development are not usually integrated, leading to a challenging trade-off. Thus, integrated and participatory heritage governance is needed to achieve sustainable development (Orbasli, 2000; Hasse & Milne, 2005). Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a critical role in the shared planning processes. Recent researches suggest that participatory development can be greatly supported through technologies. New technologies applied to Cultural Heritage are a strong incentive for its dissemination, fruition and awareness. Technologies are completely changing both the patterns of enhancement, promotion and enjoyment and the behaviour of managers and users, as well as local community and actors’ actions. Our purpose is to investigate the two sides of the coin: from one hand the typologies of visitors, their behaviour and needs; from the other hand the implementation of technology in the management of the religious tourism experience. A critical study of the international literature on heritage’s enhancement and promotion is developed; an empirical phase is implemented by conducting research and analysis of technology applied to ecclesiastic heritage. Through interviews and questionnaires the best practices developed in the analytical field are identified. This paper shows research’s first results: visitors have different ways of involving in the process of edutainment by using technology; and Church Institution shows an high degree of utilisation in order to communicate and educate people to evangelization. These tools will be useful to understand the adaptability of these technologies to the needs of users, recipients and territories; their degree of enhancement and promotion; and the measures that can be implemented for an efficient and effective governance of heritage and territory. 24
  25. 25. 22) Accompanying Religious and Non-Religious Groups to Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha Carla Braga Lecturer at ESHTE, Portugal Keywords: Experience, Motivation, Comparative research Being a Tourist Guide for 15 years, gives one a large opportunity to observe and analyse the behaviour of the tourists, visitors of religious places. The behaviour of different types of tourist depends in a large scale if they are religious groups or non-religious groups. Our aim is to present the different kind of approach and guided tours that a Tourist Guide makes with religious and non-religious groups, because the aim of the visit by non-religious groups is mainly historical and cultural, and the visit with pilgrims is also focusing religious explanations. In order to support those ideas - that were perceived from the direct observation and the result of 15 years as a tourist guide - interviews were made to the different groups of tourist that visited Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha. In addiction, were used some statistics of the numbers of visitors to those places and statistics of some of the biggest Portuguese travel agencies of incoming pilgrims. Usually, the visit of these three places – Alcobaça, Nazaré and Batalha – by non religious groups is made in the way from Lisbon to Coimbra, or a Full Day excursion departing and returning to Lisbon. People depart from Lisbon, visit Óbidos – which is a medieval village -, visit the Abbey of Alcobaça, go to Nazaré to have lunch and with some free time (not always visiting the “Sítio” – the place where the miracle occurred and where the Shrine was constructed), continuing to visit Batalha Monastery and going to Coimbra (to sleep there) or Fátima (for a small visit) and return to Lisbon. The visit of these same three places by religious groups is completely different: departing from Fátima and returning to Fátima, where the group stays for a minimum of 3 nights. In this case, groups visit those places with a different itinerary: departing from Fátima, they visit firstly the Monastery of Batalha, then, the Abbey of Alcobaça and then they proceed to Nazaré, where the aim is to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Nazaré. The reason why the pilgrims leave Fátima to visit those three places – Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha - is because it is explained to the group that these three places are born due to some kind of divine help to the Portuguese. Once inside the churches, the pilgrims like to have some moments to pray (and, in some cases, to sing some religious music from their parishes), and the touristic visit inside those churches became a completely different experience! As we can see, there are many differences in guiding the two different kinds of groups, in terms of itinerary, type of visit, information given by the guide to the group and the behaviour of the groups inside religious buildings. 25