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Using HOLSAT to evaluate satisfaction of religious tourist at sacred destinations: the case of religious travelers visiting sacred destinations in the Himalayas, India

Suresh Malodia (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, India)
Harish Singla (Department of Management, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Indore, India)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to measure the satisfaction of religious tourists travelling to various destinations in the Himalayas to identify the expectation-experience gaps and understand the shift in motives of travel.

Design/methodology/approach

The satisfaction of religious tourists is examined using holiday satisfaction (HOLSAT) model developed by Tribe and Snaith (1998). The study analyzes the expectation-experience gap using mean scores on 47 destination specific attributes for a sample of 500 respondents.

Findings

The study finds a significant gap between the expectations and experience of religious tourists traveling to sacred destinations in the Himalayas. The study also finds that motives of religious tourists have shifted from purely religious to secular touristic motives.

Practical implications

The results of the study reinforce the value of HOLSAT model as a potential tool to measure and enhance the satisfaction of religious tourists, indicating the attributes that can contribute positively toward tourist satisfaction.

Originality/value

Measuring the expectations and experience for the same set of respondents is a unique contribution of this study. The study attempts to overcome limitations of the HOLSAT model as discussed by Tribe and Snaith.

Keywords

Citation

Malodia, S. and Singla, H. (2017), "Using HOLSAT to evaluate satisfaction of religious tourist at sacred destinations: the case of religious travelers visiting sacred destinations in the Himalayas, India", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 255-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-10-2015-0120

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited