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Residents' Perceptions of Religious Tourism and its Socio-Economic Impacts on the Island of Tinos

Residents' Perceptions of Religious Tourism and its Socio-Economic Impacts on the Island of... Tourism and religion are historically related through the institution of pilgrimage, from which later the phenomenon of religious tourism emerged. Whilst numerous studies examined how tourism impacts on destinations and how local residents view tourism, there is a paucity of studies looking specifically at how religious tourism and tourists affect local residents living in “holy or sacred” destinations. This paper seeks to fill that gap in the literature by examining the perceptions of local residents of the socio-economic impacts of religious tourism on the island of Tinos, Greece. Data was collected through a questionnaire survey amongst local residents. The findings of the study revealed that the majority of residents welcome religious tourists to the island and perceive the socio-economic impacts as positive. Differences in perceptions were found on the basis of religiousness measured as frequency of church attendance and age of residents. Furthermore, the study found that whilst religious tourists are perceived as being different from “ordinary” tourists and are seen as similar to the residents themselves, they are not necessarily preferred to non-religious tourists. Overall, there is strong evidence that economic considerations override other concerns by local residents. The paper suggests management and development strategies for developing other forms of tourism on the island, whilst maintaining its role as religious site. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development Taylor & Francis

Residents' Perceptions of Religious Tourism and its Socio-Economic Impacts on the Island of Tinos

17 pages

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References (172)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1479-053X
eISSN
1479-0548
DOI
10.1080/14790530802252784
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Tourism and religion are historically related through the institution of pilgrimage, from which later the phenomenon of religious tourism emerged. Whilst numerous studies examined how tourism impacts on destinations and how local residents view tourism, there is a paucity of studies looking specifically at how religious tourism and tourists affect local residents living in “holy or sacred” destinations. This paper seeks to fill that gap in the literature by examining the perceptions of local residents of the socio-economic impacts of religious tourism on the island of Tinos, Greece. Data was collected through a questionnaire survey amongst local residents. The findings of the study revealed that the majority of residents welcome religious tourists to the island and perceive the socio-economic impacts as positive. Differences in perceptions were found on the basis of religiousness measured as frequency of church attendance and age of residents. Furthermore, the study found that whilst religious tourists are perceived as being different from “ordinary” tourists and are seen as similar to the residents themselves, they are not necessarily preferred to non-religious tourists. Overall, there is strong evidence that economic considerations override other concerns by local residents. The paper suggests management and development strategies for developing other forms of tourism on the island, whilst maintaining its role as religious site.

Journal

Tourism and Hospitality Planning & DevelopmentTaylor & Francis

Published: Aug 1, 2008

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