Title: Impact of digital media on religious tourism: exploratory beginning for post-coronavirus research
Authors: Kenneth David Strang
Addresses: W3-Research, Box 3, Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands 00802, USA
Abstract: An inductive mixed-method research design was applied to explore how digital media impacted tourism, in particular, religious journeys by Christians and Muslims to a special physical destination during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Rhetorical data were reviewed to analyse the key factors impacting digital religious tourism. Several theories were uncovered to explain the impact of digital media on religious tourism. A theoretical framework was developed for future research based on the best-fitting conceptual model. The results indicated that religious tourism is mostly being impacted by smartphone Wi-Fi connectivity within protected zones like Mecca, and by cellular internet access along the journey through rural areas. This exploratory study will inspire new empirical research.
Keywords: religion; digital tourism; pilgrimage; internet; Wi-Fi; smartphone; cross-culture.
International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, 2022 Vol.4 No.1, pp.62 - 80
Received: 23 May 2021
Accepted: 04 Oct 2021
Published online: 11 Feb 2022 *