The search for spirituality in tourism: Toward a conceptual framework for spiritual tourism

Joseph M. Cheer, Yaniv Belhassen, Joanna Kujawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The geo-psychological separation from the everyday that is embedded in spiritual travel practices, can be seen as a laboratory in which individuals can examine, consider and practice spirituality in a way that is not always available in daily life. This feature of the tourism experience is arguably the reason for the popularity of spiritual tourism experiences among novices to spirituality-driven endeavours, as well as to those who wish to develop and deepen their ongoing transcendent engagement through and during travel. If spirituality is the goal, traveling seems like an ideal setting within which it can be sought and, sometimes, even found. This Special Issue has identified the emergence of a binary between spiritual tourism performance as intrinsically religious and conversely, as secular practice. Considering secular motivations firstly, it is clear that underlying the many specific drivers are deliberations focused on the self with motives like wellness, adventure or recreation predominant. Conversely, religious motivations for spiritual tourism largely leverage links to religion and are centred on specific drivers that are underlined by religious observance, ritualised practice, reaffirmation of identity and cultural performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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