Mount Athos: development policies for short-term religious tourism
by Filareti Kotsi
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology (IJTA), Vol. 2, No. 2, 2012

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.

Online publication date: Sat, 16-Aug-2014

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