Spiritual tourism: Entrée to the Special Issue

Joseph Martin Cheer, Yaniv Belhassen, Joanna Maria Kujawa

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOther

2 Citations (Scopus)


Michael Jerryson's (2017) strident remarks about the changing na- ture of Buddhism is an apt introduction to this Special Issue on spiritual tourism, especially his references to change, and the extent to which Buddhist contemporary practice remains in keeping with its founding tenets. Whether Buddhism is religion, philosophy or way of life has been debated, and in many ways, it mirrors the broader debates around spiritual tourism and what comprises its constituent parts - irrespective of religiosity or secularity. Defining spiritual tourism is naturally prone to contestations, especially whether underlying motivations for travel have spiritual or religious drivers, if not both. Thus, any attempt at defin- ing spiritual tourism must arguably make allowance for travel that is motivated by and abides with, either or both religious and secular nar- ratives and the plethora of variegations in between. Although, Norman's (2011: 1) argument that one of the emergent themes in the examination of contemporary spiritual tourism is the “lack of traditional religiosity” is popularly held, travel undertaken for religious pilgrimage, observation and worship remains steadfastly evident throughout.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-187
Number of pages2
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2017


  • Spiritual tourism
  • spirituality
  • sustainable tourism
  • pilgrimage

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