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Religion & Spirituality
History of England

What is pilgrimage tourism?


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March 23, 2009 7:27PM

This is a very interesting area. Since pilgrims often travel to areas that are notably important in history there naturally are many who seek to visit these areas for both the historical element and for the spectacle of pilgrims visiting. For example, Muslims that go on hajj to Makkah do so primarily for religious reasons (hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, or the five necessary steps necessary in leading a 'fully' Islamic life) however the sights and sounds of the site create awe and interest in a historical way, similar to a tourist visiting Manhattan, the Pyramids or Stonehenge. Because of this, someone go on a pilgrimage more for the sake of taking photos and viewing the pilgrimage as an outsider.

When a person goes on a trip that would normally be for religious reasons, but the real reason they go are for enjoyment, relaxation or curiousity, they are indulging in tourism that is based around pilgrimage.

This is found in many places. Lourdes in France is a good example of this. It is difficult to judge whether one is a 'pilgrimage tourist' or 'spiritual tourist' since the genuine intentions of the pilgrim are unknown and it is likely that everybody embarks upon some form of tourism during a pilgrimage in some shape or form.