Title: Tourism to religious sites, case studies from Hungary and England: exploring paradoxical views on tourism, commodification and cost-benefits

Authors: Peter Wiltshier; Alan Clarke

Addresses: School of Culture & Lifestyle University of Derby, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6RY, United Kingdom ' Gazdaságtudományi Kar | Faculty of Economics, Turizmus Tanszék | Tourism Department, University of Pannonia, Pannon Egyetem | University of Pannonia, Egyetem u. 10, 8200 Veszprém, Hungary

Abstract: The application of systems theory to tourism development has a pedigree that has largely been derived from econometrics and macro-economic theory (Baggio et al., 2010; Franch et al., 2010; Choi and Sirakaya, 2006; Schianetz and Kavanagh, 2007, 2008; Dwyer et al., 2010). This paper identifies opportunities and some barriers to developing sites of religious worship for tourism to maximise income and engage appropriate resources allocation strategies. The authors have investigated tourism development that is sympathetic to sacred purposes at these sites over several years. Religious sites are now acknowledging that homogeneous supply responses may no longer be appropriate. Each special site demands a heterogeneous response of site guardians to changeable demand and careful evaluation of how to maximise income generated from very limited resources. This necessitates improved skills in guardians to build appropriate point of sale products and services that fit with consumption expectations and are congruent with sacred purpose.

Keywords: religious tourism; visitation; religious sites; sacred sites; secular; buildings; cost-benefit analysis; commodification; commercialisation; products; services; economic impact; systems theory; resource allocation; Hungary; England; tourism development; income generation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2012.049000

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2012 Vol.4 No.2, pp.132 - 145

Published online: 14 Nov 2014 *

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