Keywords: resource management, destination marketing, religious resources, religious sites, Northern England, religious tourism, religion, site management, church tourism, faith tourism, financial management, pricing management, UK churches, UK cathedrals, United Kingdom, consumer expectations
Church tourism and faith tourism initiatives in Northern England: implications for the management of religious tourism sites
This paper reports on research related to the management of religious attractions in the UK to specifically gain insights into the capacity of religious places of worship to both share and promote sacred and spiritual sites, as places for tourists to visit. The background context of this research is to further consider important questions arising from the introduction of 'new' financial and pricing management strategies by cathedral authorities within UK cathedrals and more widely by tourism organisations to promote churches as venues for special interest tourism, namely church tourism. The purpose of this work is to provide theoretical and empirical insights on: 1) the implications of managing UK cathedrals and churches using finite resources both in terms of staff (volunteers) and limited operational budgets to both maintain places for worship and leisure visitation; 2) consumer expectations as to what religious authorities should offer visitors in terms of places for spiritual engagement but also educational, information and entertainment experiences; 3) the potential policy dissonance between church and cathedral authorities, local authorities and tourist organisations in product development and marketing of religious resources as part of destination marketing.