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Tourism, religion and religiosity : a holy mess

Butler, Richard and Airey, David and Poria, Yaniv (2004) Tourism, religion and religiosity : a holy mess. Current Issues in Tourism, 6 (4). pp. 340-363. ISSN 1368-3500

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Abstract

Although religion and religiosity are well-known factors for influencing behaviour in different social settings, there is very limited research that explores the links between them and visitation patterns of tourists. In this study tourists' visitation patterns to a heritage site of religious significance (the Wailing Wall, Israel) are explored. Differences are found between tourists based on their religious affiliation and religiosity. The findings also reveal that the tourists' religiosity has different effects on those with different religious affiliations. It is argued that the actual relationships between a tourist's religion and strength of religious belief need to be understood in relation to the site visited, the tourist's perception of it and the meaning he or she attaches to it. The implications for tourism management and the theoretical investigation of heritage tourism are discussed.