PurposeSpiritual tourism is a niche tourism studied under cultural tourism. Religious events play an important role in attracting spiritual tourists. This paper aims to highlight the introduction of Yazd city (Iran) as a new spiritual tourism destination with emphasis on Shiite religious events and rituals. This research has the following three major purposes to assess the motivation of international tourists for participating in spiritual tours, examine the attitude of tourists towards spiritual tourism activities and investigate the effect on international tourists’ perceptions and views of spiritual tours organized in the Muharram and Ashura events.Design/methodology/approachThis study was conducted in Yazd, Iran. Data for this study were collected through a questionnaire which was distributed in organized spiritual tours during the Muharram and Ashura events. A quantitative method was used and the data were analyzed using SPSS tools.FindingsOn the basis of the results of this study, it can be concluded that international tourists are interested in spiritual tourism activities and attractions in Yazd city, and spiritual tours can be a strategy against Islamophobia.Originality/valueThis research paper investigated the attitude of tourists to spiritual tourism activities and the effect on international tourists’ perceptions and views of spiritual tours organized in the Muharram and Ashura as the most important events in Shiite culture.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 4, 2019