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Religious tourism and Sustainability: From Devotion to Spiritual Experience*

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea

ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-900-9

Publication date: 1 March 2021


Beginning with a historical outline and the definition of tourism as a privileged opportunity for physical and spiritual renewal, the author deals with the question of how young people put themselves in touch with religion and spirituality. After 2012, Catholic pastoral has changed: not only devotional attention to the pilgrimages but also an overview of the resources constituted by sacred places as a tool for socioeconomic and cultural development of destinations. Religious tourism means an appropriate moment to let the body relax and to nourish the spirit: from this approach, the author shows examples of religious light tourism’ in Europe founded on an ecumenical approach and on sustainability. The effects are positive: for the offer, new jobs (guides, resorts, enogastronomic and folkloristic services); for the demand, a new way to preserve the beauty of creation for future generations, by offering emotional and not massive travels: Caminos, trekking and slow paths, in order to know local traditions and nature. Therefore, ‘religious light tourism’ is a champion of sustainability and responsible tourism because religious tourism is, usually, less affected by season's trends, social and economic crisis (but not in the present COVID-19!).



Cugini, A. (2021), "Religious tourism and Sustainability: From Devotion to Spiritual Experience* ", Grasso, F. and Sergi, B.S. (Ed.) Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 55-73.



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