The purpose of this paper is to investigate the most important characteristics of the religious package tour as perceived by consumers who travel to the Holy Land and to examine the marketing components that play an important role for pilgrims.
In‐depth interviews were conducted with Greek Orthodox travellers who were about to leave for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Content analysis was used in order to analyse the transcribed interviews.
Results show that regarding the product mix, hotel ratings and extra benefits are considered of minor importance by the interviewed travellers. However, the tour guide and the trip's schedule and program are the most important factors that influence consumer decisions regarding the purchase of a specific tourism product. In addition, the travel agent's reputation for organising religious trips plays a crucial role. Alternatively, price does not seem to influence travellers to sacred places.
Travel agents that offer tour packages to pilgrims, as well as tourism companies wishing to promote pilgrimages can take into consideration these findings in order to design effective marketing plans.
Although tour packages for pilgrims are profitable, only few studies have focused on this type of traveller. As travel for religious purposes increases, the design of an effective marketing plan may help to further develop the market for pilgrimages.
Triantafillidou, A., Koritos, C., Chatzipanagiotou, K. and Vassilikopoulou, A. (2010), "Pilgrimages: the “promised land” for travel agents?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 382-398. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111011035963Download as .RIS
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