Visitors' perceptions of religious tourism destinations

Huang, Keji, and Pearce, Philip (2019) Visitors' perceptions of religious tourism destinations. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, 14. 100371.

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how contemporary visitors perceive the more commercial facets of religious destinations. The Four Great Buddhist Mountains of China provided subtly different contexts for the work, but the themes addressed have a broad applicability to the tensions between secular and spiritual features of such sites. Two rounds of detailed interviews in 2014 and 2016 were undertaken. The first identified four types of Buddhist site images: sacred with high spiritual values, cultural with long histories, attractive with natural features, and commercial with shops and restaurants. The second found that visitors' perceptions of these types of destination image contained both strong cognitive and affective reactions to the Buddhist sites. Such perceptions were strengthened by key site features such as an impressive atmosphere, attractive environment, personal beliefs, and loyal behaviors, but weakened by commercial activities, modern buildings, environmental pollution, and secular behaviors. The findings contribute to both theory and practice by clarifying the factors influencing visitors' perceptions about these Buddhist sites and providing further implications for the sustainable development of religious tourism.

Item ID: 59149
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-5752
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2019 03:23
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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