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Is spiritual tourism a new strategy for marketing Islam?

Farooq Haq (School of Law and Business, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia)
Ho Yin Wong (School of Commerce and Marketing, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 25 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

Spiritual tourism has recently been accepted as a growing segment of tourism in business and research circles. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a new dimension in Islamic marketing and investigates spiritual tourism as a new strategy for marketing Islam as a religion.

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory research, convenient sampling was employed to select Muslim spiritual tourists and Islamic organisations arranging spiritual tourism in Australia. A total of 34 face‐to‐face interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to identify factors relevant to the research themes regarding spiritual tourism and marketing Islam.

Findings

Some religious organisations used religious gatherings and festivals as spiritual tourism products to market their religion – Islam. These organisations attracted Muslim and non‐Muslim spiritual tourists to the Islamic places, gatherings, occasions, and festivals by promoting them as spiritual tourism products.

Practical implications

The paper identifies spiritual tourism journeys and events that could be strategically used by religious organisations for marketing Islam.

Social implications

This paper aims to build bridges for better understanding of Islam among the Australian public. The paper could be replicated to study the marketing of other religions in other geographical locations.

Originality/value

The paper originates in recognising a genuinely new strategy of spiritual tourism that could be used more effectively for marketing Islam. A future quantitative study could be conducted to test the findings of this paper.

Keywords

Citation

Haq, F. and Yin Wong, H. (2010), "Is spiritual tourism a new strategy for marketing Islam?", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 136-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/17590831011055879

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited