Authors: Filareti Kotsi
Addresses: College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, P.O. Box 19282, Dubai, UAE
Abstract: The case of the Christian Orthodox Monastic Peninsula of Mount Athos is examined focusing on the impacts of short-term pilgrimage upon the local economy. Due to the interdiction of women entering Mount Athos, the local tourism market has been oriented towards two different target directions: day-trip cruises that take tourists on a three-hour cruise to the west side of the monastic peninsula and day-trip pilgrimages that allow pilgrims, mainly women, during a five-hour voyage to venerate the relics from various monasteries of Mount Athos. The study examines the evolution of these two key activities in the area surrounding Mount Athos and their contribution to local economic development. Research findings, based on longitudinal research, support the importance of religious tourism for local economic development and propose a number of specific policy measures that need to be introduced to improve sustainable economic development for the broader region.
Keywords: pilgrimage; short-term religious tourism; local development policies; Greece; Mount Athos; sacred sites; local economy; day trips; religious relics; economic development; sustainable development; sustainability; Christian Orthodox monasteries.
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2012 Vol.2 No.2, pp.149 - 163
Available online: 08 Sep 2012 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article