Tourism studies perspectives on pilgrimage

Jaeyeon Choe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In Chapter 7: Tourism Studies Perspectives on Pilgrimage, Jaeyeon Choe acknowledges that “a tourist is half a pilgrim, if a pilgrim is half a tourist” (Turner & Turner, 1978, p. 20). As tourism studies is a “young field of study,” which was initially a subset concern of anthropology and sociology, the discipline’s scope and method of inquiry has expanded in scope and draws “from disciplinary tools and frameworks found in anthropology, geography, history, economics, psychology, ecology, business, and management studies... as well as environmental studies, urban planning, and development studies” (p. 137). In its original form, pilgrimage is “the oldest form of tourism” and pilgrimage’s link with religion is tightly knit. Choe notes the growth of secular pilgrimage as a major focus of tourism studies and the tension between pilgrimage and tourism with the “political, socio-cultural, behavioural, economic, and geographical” underpinnings of each. Tourism scholars are steadily publishing books, articles, special issues, organising conferences, and founding journals such as the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage. She further identifies new topics in the research field of tourism include New Age pilgrimage, religious tourism, heritage tourism, cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, dark tourism, and literary pilgrimage. Many of the new topical subsets highlight the flux in secular tourism, or new age/naive, self-fulfilment spiritualism (e.g., Eat, Pray, Love) with serious intentions such as transformation and healing through the endurance of the journey and the incorporation of ritual. Choe further asserts that viewing pilgrimage, from the perspective of tourism research, has vast potentials of hitherto unconsidered material to interpret and integrate into the discipline. She identifies topics for future research consideration such as sustainability, eschewing Eurocentric dominance in the field inquiry, and virtual tourism, which have resulted from remote approaches during periods of travel restriction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidisciplinary Perspectives on Pilgrimage: Historical, Current and Future Directions
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781800793668, 9781800793675, 9781800793682
ISBN (Print)9781800793651
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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