Management practices for the development of religious tourism sacred sites: managing expectations through sacred and secular aims in site development; report, store and access

Peter Wiltshier, Maureen Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Through a distillation of practices reflective of the extant literature and socio-economic approaches to inclusive development of sites of religious experiences and worship, we posit that there are seven core conceptual approaches to support evolving site management needs. Therefore, developing sites of special significance necessarily requires the dissemination and sharing of both intellectual and practical contributions to meet those needs in a planned and stakeholder-driven approach. Traditional approaches to development emerged half a century ago with a focus on core competencies and the agreed understanding that open and fair competition would raise quality and assure reasonable profit margins. Creating awareness of services and products and mapping those to our marketing practices are the first two tools in the toolkit. Analysis and synthesis through primary research enables cleric and manager to grasp visitors’ and worshippers’ needs and develop audiences for sites. Fourthly we present the importance of maintenance and plans for developing sites to accommodate factors in both internal and external environments that acknowledge the requirement to remain competitive. Next, the importance of networks, grappling with the wider community and perhaps establishing a wider, even global, reach, is appraised as important. In seeking to tap into resources traditionally not employed in managing religious and pilgrimage sites we elevate the need for an enterprise culture (this enterprise culture is seen in the other papers in this special issue). The final offer includes dimensions of volunteering, nontraditional support networks, altruism and philanthropy which we name as ‘the third way’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • religion
  • toolkits
  • development
  • management
  • pilgrimage

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