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Contact details

The contact person for this research group is:

  Kevin Griffin
  Dublin Institute of Technology
  Ireland
 

kevin.griffin@dit.ie

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Annual review of activities 2013

Kevin Griffin
Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

In the past number of years this SIG has gone from strength to strength, with forthcoming publications and events, adding to our track record of high quality outputs.

Our most recent event, in June 2013, was an incredibly successful workshop / conference in the Institute of Tourism Studies in Malta. Our host and main organiser, Dr. Vincent Zammitt, provided us with a wonderful introduction to Maltese hospitality, which provided the backdrop to a most stimulating and engaging event. Over the course of two very packed days, 36 papers were presented by authors from 23 different countries on the conference theme: The Production and Consumption of the Pilgrimage Tourism Experience. Because of the relaxed format, all delegates had plenty of opportunity to network, share ideas and reinforce / forge friendships and information sharing partnerships. The social calendar included a conference dinner at the ITS, and a day long fieldtrip after the conference, very capably led by Vincent (which included canons, and bumping into local dignitaries). One of the new features of this event was the identification of best papers. Two papers were selected for this award: How long does the Pilgrimage Tourism experience to Santiago de Compostela last by Lucrezia Lopez, and; Religious Tourism in a Non-religious Country: Specifics of Religious Tourism in the Czech Republic by Jan Rája.

Wordcloud incorporating the Titles of all papers presented in Malta

Dr Kevin Griffin and Dr Razaq Raj have been working hard in recent months to produce the next of our Journal Special Volumes, which will appear in the International Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice. This online volume will include a selection of papers which were presented at the 2012 workshop in Maynooth and it is hoped that this will be ready for publication by the end of 2013.

A very exciting new departure is the involvement of SIG members in developing the recently launched International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage (launched at our Maltese workshop). This online, open access publication platform is already very advanced in the production of its first volume. As the chosen vehicle for outputs from the Maltese conference, a range of papers have been submitted and are currently at various stages of development. The journal is double-blind reviewed, and the editorial board truly represents an international range of experts, with strong representation by ATLAS members. The website for the journal is:
http://arrow.dit.ie/ijrtp/
and the facebook page is available here: http://tinyurl.com/qeb9t65.

Delegates at Maltese Workshop

Speaking of future events, our 2014 workshop is already well advanced in terms of planning. An early call for papers was circulated in September 2013 for ‘Promoting and Experiencing Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage’ which will be hosted by Alan Clarke and his colleagues in the University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary from 20-23 June. As per previous events, we are doing everything in our power to keep costs low, while providing an excellent standard of event. We are also reliably informed by Alan that we will be introduced to Hungarian wine at some stage of the proceedings.

Also worth mention in this report is a publication which involved a number of group members. While not specifically an output of the SIG, Cultural Tourism, edited by Razaq Raj, Nigel Morpeth and Kevin Griffin involved chapters authored by many ATLAS members. This attractive 2013 volume, produced by CABI, includes chapters covering culture related topics ranging from theoretical and abstract to practical and applied.

Finally, if you have not seen our previous publications, take note of the following:

Raj, R., Griffin, K., Fernandez, C. & Morpeth, N. (Eds) (2011) Managing The Religious Tourism Experience, Special Issue of International Journal of Business and Globalisation, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2011

Raj, R. & Griffin, K. (Eds) (2012) Enhancing the Religious Tourism Experience, Special Issue of International Journal of Tourism Policy.

Raj, R. & Griffin, K. (Eds) (2012) Reflecting on Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, ATLAS, The Netherlands. [Available from the ATLAS website] br />

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3rd ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Conference

Enhancing the Religious Tourism Experience
New Norcia, Perth, Western Australia, 20-25 June, 2011

This conference was supported and hosted by the New Norcia Visitor Centre and Benedictine monastery and Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria.

The ATLAS Religious Tourism Special Interest Group was invited by the New Norcia Visitor Centre and Benedictine monastery to organise the above conference with the assistance of Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria.

This conference is supported and hosted by the New Norcia Visitor Centre and Benedictine monastery and was held from 3 to 8 July 2011. It took place in New Norcia, the only monastic town in Australia, which is situated in Western Australia, 132 km (82 miles) north of Perth, along the Great Northern Highway.

Because attendance is generously supported by the local sponsors, numbers will be limited. About 15 papers were presented, with the main emphasis on the following themes:

  • New Ways of Attracting Religious Tourists to Religious Sites

  • The Interpretation of Religious Sites for Diverse Visitors

Organisers and Scientific Committee:
Maureen Griffiths: Maureen.Griffiths@monash.edu
Razaq Raj: R.Raj@leedsmet.ac.uk
Carlos Fernandes: cfernandes@estg.ipvc.pt
Kevin Griffin (SIG coordinator): kevin.griffin@dit.ie

Pictures can be viewed here.

The following papers were presented:
 

Attracting tourists, who seek contemplation, to religious sites in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands.
Manon Niesten

Customer Centric Strategies: New Ways of Attracting Religious Tourist to Religious Sites

Tahir Rashid

What matters at religious sites? A study of visitor experience evaluation

Fangfang Shi

Overview of a new research approach for religious tourism: Insights from the pilgrimage on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Carlos Fernandes

Religious Tourist’s Motivation for Visiting Religious Sites v Diverse Visitors
Razaq Raj

Online communication of the Catholic World Youth Days
Lorenzo Cantoni, Miriam Stefania, Silvia De Ascaniis

Religious Tourism in the Centre Tourism of Portugal: the case of Bussaco
Isilda Leitão

Benefits and costs of tourism to religious sites; cases from UK and Hungary

Peter Wiltshier and Alan Clarke

Understanding the Religious Context of Spiritual Tourism: A Case Study from Rishikesh, India

Alex Norman

The management of the service encounter in a religious context
Maureen Griffiths

Creating the Perfect Welcome’: an empirical investigation of the role of staff, volunteers and interpretation in attracting visitors to faith tourism sites in North  and South Yorkshire, UK.

Nigel D Morpeth

Religious Tourism: How to deal with the parishes
Vitor Ambrosio


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2nd ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Conference

Managing the Religious Tourism Experience
Nazaré, Portugal 19th-21st November 2009

The ATLAS Religious Tourism Special Interest Group was been invited by the Vocational School of Nazaré (Escola Profissional da Nazaré), to organise the above workshop with the assistance of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal)
 
This meeting took place with support from the Municipality of Nazaré, Hotel Miramar Sul, Hotel Praia and Hotel Maré from 19 to 22 November 2009 and took place in the recently opened Municipal Auditorium of Nazaré.
 
Because attendance will be supported by local sponsors, numbers were limited. About 20 papers were presented, with the main emphasis on the theme of ‘religious tourism experience’ – particularly papers of an applied or management-focused nature.

Organisers and Scientific Committee:

Kevin Griffin (SIG coordinator): kevin.griffin@dit.ie
Razaq Raj: R.Raj@leedsmet.ac.uk
Carlos Fernandes: cfernandes@estg.ipvc.pt

The following papers were presented:

The Role of a Religious Tourism Strategy for the West and North West of Ireland in furthering the development of tourism in the region.
Frances McGettigan
Corina Griffin
Fiona Candon

Can We Influence Effectively the Duration of the Religious Visit?
Christos Petreas

Travelling in Nazaré: Between Faith, Reality and Fiction
Isilda Leitão

Those Who Come to Pray and Those who Come to Look: Interactions Between Visitors and Congregations
Maureen Griffiths

Visitors Experience of Travel to the City of Heaven (Madinah)
Razaq Raj and Tahir Rashid

The Spiritual Quest: Europe’s Common Sacred Ground (A Historic Overview)
Cristina Carvalho

Accompanying Religious and Non-Religious Groups to Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha
Carla Braga

A Preliminary Study of Visitors to Merv (Turkmenistan)

Dr Jonathan Edwards
Roger Vaughan

‘Managing the Religious Tourism Experience’
Dr Nigel D Morpeth

Between Pilgrimage and Tourism: Organization and Promotion of Shared Spaces

Noga Collins-Kreiner,

Porto and the Emotions Given by the St. John’s Celebrations: A Special Interest Tourist Experience
Susana Ribeiro

Developing Religious Tourism in Emerging Destinations: Experiences from Mtskheta (Georgia)

Carlos Fernandes

Aspects Regarding the Religious Tourism Experience in Romanian Christian Orthodoxy: A Monasteries Abbots’ Perceptions
Alexandra-Maria Tîrca
Professor PhD Gabriela Cecilia Stanciulescu

The Festivities of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, Azores
Vítor Ambrósio

Conflict Resolution, Middlemen Minorities and Heritage Tourism in Nazareth: The Case of Nazareth Village
Amos S. Ron, Ph.D.

The Museum as Visitor Experience: Displaying Sacred Haitian Vodou Objects21
Maaike de Jong

Formulating a strategy and an action plan for the accommodation of pilgrims and religious tourists in the sanctuary-city of Fatima – Portugal
Maria da Graça Mouga Poças Santos

The two sides of the same coin: visitors and ICT for managing Ecclesiastic Heritage
Clara S. Petrillo
Olga Lo Presti

Religion, Remembrance and the ‘Rock’: Current trends in Australian Religious Tourism

Mr Nigel Bond
Dr Lisa Ruhanen

Sustaining Churches Through Managing Tourism. A Review of Current Practices in Derbyshire

Peter Wiltshier
 

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Annual review of activities 2007

Vítor Ambrósio
Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril, Portugal

1st Meeting of the Group

The Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group was launched by ATLAS and hosted by the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal) with the sponsorship of the Tourism Board of Leiria-Fátima. One of the aims was to increase the relatively little research that has been done in the relationship between cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism.

The 1st Expert Meeting was held at one of the world´s most renowned religious and pilgrimage sites-Fátima, Portugal. Papers on issues relating to the conference theme were presented and proceedings were published and are available through ATLAS.

2nd Meeting of the Group

At the meeting of the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group in Naples, a number of ideas were put forward for future research in activities of the group. The discussion was wide ranging and not only extended the ideas put forward by the different contributors but also included new thoughts and suggestions.

Compile a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography

A suggested activity was to begin compiling a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography among group members. An initial list of sources was sent to all group members in order to contribute with new references. The Laboratory of Tourism at the Polytechnic Institute of

Viana do Castelo, Portugal, would compile the list. This bibliography should summarize studies on religious tourism and pilgrimage in all languages, and cover such topics as planning and development, marketing, sustainable development, economic and other effects of tourism.

Synergy with the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group

In 2004, the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group conducted visitor interviews at a range of different cultural sites and attractions around the world, including religious ones. It was proposed to work closely with this group and possibly analyse the data to maintain an overview of the relationship between tourism, culture and religious space for (1) understanding the demand for religious space, (2) character profiles of the populations choosing to visit religious space and (3) the motivations for visitors / tourists to seek out these spaces.

The questionnaire has questions applicable to religious tourism and pilgrimage contexts, including if respondents visited or planned to visit certain cultural attractions or cultural events in this area. One of the options was religious sites.

The questionnaire is available on the web:

www.geocities.com/atlasproject2004

3rd Meeting of the Group

The experience at the Naples meeting showed that the group had a fair amount to discuss and that a brief meeting during the ATLAS conference is not really enough to do it all. It was suggested that the next meeting not be held in 2005 but rather in 2006. This would give members time to conduct the case study research. The meeting should probably be much like the format of the initial meeting in Fatima-12 to 15 participants meeting for two days with presentations and enough time devoted to discussion.

However, several members of the group suggested that a meeting should take place during the ATLAS Conference in Barcelona. As a result, ATLAS Secretariat was contacted to include the meeting on the conference programme. The meeting was scheduled parallel to workshop sessions, and during it a new coordinator was elected (it was also decided that the coordination of this group would be on a rotating basis). During this meeting Christos Petreas from Greece suggested to have the next expert's meeting (the 4th meeting of the group) in his country, in Kalambaka, by the end April, beginning May 2006; unfortunately, due to a reorganization of the Greek government/ Ministry of Tourism (during Springs 2006), it didn't take place.

In meanwhile other contacts were made, and finally a meeting will take place in Lourdes (France) on the 26th and 27th October - the theme will be The Development of Sanctuary Towns". Before the meeting another one (an informal meeting) will take place in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), on the 04th September, one day prior to the annual conference - here will be discuss the possibility of having projects (concerning religious tourism and pilgrimages) which may include more than one country.

Dissertations and Publications

Razaq Raj and Nigel Morpeth from Leeds Metropolitan University edited in CABI "Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Festivals Management - An International Perspective". Many chapters are contributions from the Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group members

Vitor Ambrósio discussed his PhD dissertation "Religious Tourism - The Development of Sanctuary Towns" last December.

Discussion list

The ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group discussion list is active (religious@atlas-euro.org). Only subscribers of this list can send and receive messages send to this address.

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Annual review of activities 2006

Vítor Ambrósio
Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril, Portugal

 

1st Meeting of the Group

The Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group was launched by ATLAS and hosted by the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal) with the sponsorship of the Tourism Board of Leiria-Fátima. One of the aims was to increase the relatively little research that has been done in the relationship between cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism.

The 1st Expert Meeting was held at one of the world´s most renowned religious and pilgrimage sites-Fátima, Portugal. Papers on issues relating to the conference theme were presented and proceedings were published and are available through ATLAS.

2nd Meeting of the Group

At the meeting of the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group in Naples, a number of ideas were put forward for future research in activities of the group. The discussion was wide ranging and not only extended the ideas put forward by the different contributors but also included new thoughts and suggestions.

Compile a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography

A suggested activity was to begin compiling a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography among group members. An initial list of sources was sent to all group members in order to contribute with new references. The Laboratory of Tourism at the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal, would compile the list.

This bibliography should summarize studies on religious tourism and pilgrimage in all languages, and cover such topics as planning and development, marketing, sustainable development, economic and other effects of tourism.

Researching alternative uses for religious buildings

John Winton from the Churches Tourism Network Wales presented a paper at the Barcelona 2004 Cultural Tourism Conference on "Researching Alternative Uses for Religious Buildings". Since then John Winton has been active in the group and has agreed to cooperate with this group if it decides to use the methodology on which he based his study to conduct similar research elsewhere. The approach is similar to initiatives being taken in Italy and presented by Clara Petrillo at the initial meeting in Fátima.

Synergy with the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group

In 2004, the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group conducted visitor interviews at a range of different cultural sites and attractions around the world, including religious ones. It was proposed to work closely with this group and possibly analyse the data to maintain an overview of the relationship between tourism, culture and religious space for (1) understanding the demand for religious space, (2) character profiles of the populations choosing to visit religious space and (3) the motivations for visitors / tourists to seek out these spaces.

The questionnaire has questions applicable to religious tourism and pilgrimage contexts, including if respondents visited or planned to visit certain cultural attractions or cultural events in this area. One of the options was religious sites.

The questionnaire is available on the web: www.geocities.com/atlasproject2004

3rd Meeting of the Group

The experience at the Naples meeting showed that the group had a fair amount to discuss and that a brief meeting during the ATLAS conference is not really enough to do it all. It was suggested that the next meeting not be held in 2005 but rather in 2006. This would give members time to conduct the case study research. The meeting should probably be much like the format of the initial meeting in Fatima-12 to 15 participants meeting for two days with presentations and enough time devoted to discussion.

However, several members of the group suggested that a meeting should take place during the ATLAS Conference in Barcelona. As a result, ATLAS Secretariat was contacted to include the meeting on the conference programme. The meeting was scheduled parallel to workshop sessions, and during it a new coordinator was elected (it was also decided that the coordination of this group would be on a rotating basis). During this meeting Christos Petreas from Greece suggested to have the next expert's meeting (the 4th meeting of the group) in his country, in Kalambaka, by the end April, beginning May 2006; unfortunately, due to a reorganization of the Greek government/ Ministry of Tourism (during Springs 2006), it didn't take place.

Meanwhile other contacts were made, and there are strong possibilities to have the meeting, either in France, or in Portugal. Also John Winton showed some interest in having the meeting in Wales.

Dissertations and Publications

Razaq Raj is editing a book titled "Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Mangement", and many chapters are contributions from the Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group members.

Vitor Ambrósio handed in his PhD dissertation "Religious Tourism - The Development of Sanctuary Towns" and hopes to discuss it in October.

Discussion list

The ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group discussion list is active (religious@atlas-euro.org). Only subscribers of this list can send and receive messages send to this address.

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Annual review of activities 2005

Carlos Fernandes
Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão de Viana do Castelo, Portugal

1st meeting of the Group
The Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group was launched by ATLAS and hosted by the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal) with the sponsorship of the Tourism Board of Leiria-Fátima. One of the aims was to increase the relatively little research that has been done in the relationship between cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism.

The 1st Expert Meeting was held at one of the world´s most renowned religious and pilgrimage sites-Fátima, Portugal. Papers on issues relating to the conference theme were presented and proceedings were published and are available through ATLAS.

2nd meeting of the Group
At the last meeting of the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group in Naples, a number of ideas were put forward for future research in activities of the group. The discussion was wide ranging and not only extended the ideas put forward by the different contributors but also included new thoughts and suggestions. There was general agreement that the topics listed below would require investigation and research:

  1. Exploration and refinement of the Sacred - Profane continuum.

  2. Understanding the demand for religious space

  3. Character profiles of the populations choosing to visit religious space

  4. The motivations for visitors / tourists to seek out these spaces

  5. The nature of the experience different individuals take away from their time in religious space

  6. Further investigating the proposed concept of 'Spiritual' Tourism exploring the effect / changes which some visitors / tourists claim are a result of their tourist activity in spiritual space. (Schneiders 1989 analysis was proposed as an appropriate starting point).

  7. Welcoming tourists as a pastoral function of the church

  8. The degradation of sacred space, e.g. loss of a 'sense of place'

  9. The interaction of the 'Church', private sector interests and public authorities at major religious sites (e.g. Shrine, Hotelier, Regional Tourist Board) such as Fatima or Lourdes

Compile a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography
A suggested activity was to begin compiling a religious tourism and pilgrimage bibliography among group members. An initial list of sources was sent to all group members in order to contribute with new references. The Laboratory of Tourism at the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal, would compile the list.

This bibliography should summarize studies on religious tourism and pilgrimage in all languages, and cover such topics as planning and development, marketing, sustainable development, economic and other effects of tourism. Material should be drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, including economics, planning, geography, and history. Sources should be accompanied by a 3-4 line summary.

Researching alternative uses for religious buildings
John Winton from the Churches Tourism Network Wales presented a paper at the Barcelona 2004 Cultural Tourism Conference on "Researching Alternative Uses for Religious Buildings". Since then John Winton has been active in the group and has agreed to cooperate with this group if it decides to use the methodology on which he based his study to conduct similar research elsewhere. The approach is similar to initiatives being taken in Italy and presented by Clara Petrillo at the initial meeting in Fátima.

Synergy with the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group
In 2004, the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Special Interest Group conducted visitor interviews at a range of different cultural sites and attractions around the world, including religious ones. It was proposed to work closely with this group and possibly analyse the data to maintain an overview of the relationship between tourism, culture and religious space for (1) understanding the demand for religious space, (2) character profiles of the populations choosing to visit religious space and (3) the motivations for visitors / tourists to seek out these spaces.

The questionnaire has questions applicable to religious tourism and pilgrimage contexts, including if respondents visited or planned to visit certain cultural attractions or cultural events in this area. One of the options was religious sites. The questionnaire is available on the web:

www.geocities.com/atlasproject2004

3rd Meeting of the Group
The experience at the Naples meeting showed that the group has a fair amount to discuss and that a brief meeting during the ATLAS conference is not really enough to do it all. It was suggested that the next meeting not be held in 2005 but rather in 2006. This would give members time to conduct the case study research. The meeting should probably be much like the format of the initial meeting in Fatima-12 to 15 participants meeting for two days with presentations and enough time devoted to discussion.

However, since then several members of the group have suggested that a meeting take place during the ATLAS Conference in Barcelona. As a result, ATLAS Secretariat was contacted to include the meeting on the conference programme. The meeting will be scheduled parallel to workshop sessions, in which papers may be presented, followed by a short meeting in which a new coordinator will be elected. In the previous meeting it had been decided that the coordination of this group would be on a rotating basis. Nominations are being accepted. The new coordinator will prepare the 4th meeting of the group, possibly in 2006.

Discussion list
The ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group discussion list is active (religious@atlas-euro.org). Only subscribers of this list can send and receive messages send to this address.

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Annual review of activities 2004

In the final session of the first meeting of the Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Special Interest Group, discussion focussed on the possible future activities. The discussion was wide ranging and not only extended the ideas put forward by the different contributors but also included new thoughts and suggestions. There was general agreement that the topics listed below would require investigation and research:

  • Exploration and refinement of the Sacred - Profane continuum

  • Understanding the demand for religious space

  • Character profiles of the populations choosing to visit religious space

  • The motivations for visitors / tourists to seek out these spaces

  • The nature of the experience different individuals take away from their time in religious space

  • Further investigating the proposed concept of 'Spiritual' Tourism exploring the effect / changes which some visitors / tourists claim are a result of their tourist activity in spiritual space. (Schneiders 1989 analysis was proposed as an appropriate starting point)

  • Welcoming tourists as a pastoral function of the church

  • The degradation of sacred space, e.g. loss of a 'sense of place'

  • The interaction of the 'Church', private sector interests and public authorities at major religious sites (e.g. Shrine, Hotelier, Regional Tourist Board) such as Fatima or Lourdes

The proceedings of the first meeting were published by our host in Fátima, the Regional Tourist Board of Leiria-Fatima.

The 2nd expert meeting of the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Research Group, to take place during the ATLAS conference in Naples, is designed to review the issues raised during the 1st meeting held in Fátima and set research priorities on religious / pilgrimage / spiritual tourism related research themes. Papers will not be presented at this meeting.

A proposal has been received to host the 3rd meeting of the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Research Group from the Nazareth Tourist Board. Other proposals are expected at the meeting in Naples.

For more information on the ATLAS Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Research Group or the Expert Meeting, please contact:Carlos Fernandes.

Carlos Fernandes

Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão de Viana do Castelo, Portugal

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