Title

Lotus-Eaters, Pilgrims, Seekers, and Accidental Tourists: How Different Travelers Consume the Sacred and the Profane

Publication Title

Services Marketing Quarterly

Publication Date

2009

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/15332960802619181

Keywords

Israel, religious experience tourism, religious pilgrimage, tourism, travel

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing | Other Business

Abstract

Travelers visit destinations that are associated with organized religion for a variety of reasons. Building on Cohen's (2003) work, we categorize visitors to “religious” travel destinations as: (1) seekers who intend to visit both religious and secular tourist sites, (2) lotus-eaters who intend to visit only secular tourist sites, (3) pilgrims who intend to visit only religious tourist sites, and (4) accidental tourists who intend to visit neither type of tourist site. We use these four types of tourists to accomplish three aims: (1) explain each type of traveler, (2) explain the interaction between religious and secular elements at travel sites, and (3) provide guidelines for attracting each type of traveler.

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