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Religious tourism is a form of tourism where people of a particular faith travel to visit places of religious significance in their faith. Previous research into the various aspects of religious and spiritual tourism (RST) has been noticeably extended. The purpose of this study is to perform systematic mapping to provide trends and classification regarding the recent publications in the area of RST.Design/methodology/approachThis study collected 181 papers from five scientific databases, from which 122 were selected to be classified according to six properties: research type, research focus, research method, investigated religion, publication type and time.FindingsThe analysis of these data resulted in a map of the research field, which was presented under three perspectives: the distribution and trends over time of each classification property and the relationship between them. Besides the visual map, the full list of classified papers is available. The results showed that the number of publications is increasing every year, which shows a growing interest in this field. Moreover, the primary research focuses were destination, demand and marketing. Top three journals were found to be International Journal of Tourism Research, Tourism Recreation Research and Journal of Heritage Tourism. Furthermore, evaluation research, solution proposals and opinion papers were the main research types in the area. In addition, the majority of studies focused on Christianity and Islam. Finally, survey, discussion paper, interview and case study were the predominantly used research methods.Originality/valueThe mapping study delivers the first systematic summary of RST research.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 18, 2018
Keywords: Literature review; Religious tourism; Spiritual tourism; Systematic mapping study
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