Inderscience Publishers

Managing the religious tourism experience in Romanian Christian Orthodoxy

Religion-motivated tourism is extremely important in many parts of the world. In Romania, the only Latin country in East-Central Europe whose main religion is Orthodox Christian, religious ceremonies to celebrate Saints' days, as well as all the related places and relics, represent places for prayer for millions of people. The aim of this paper is to investigate the issue of the religious tourism experience for a religion considered to be conservative and traditionalist in relation to other denominations. The research method of this study was a questionnaire based survey applied to more than one hundred monasteries' superiors from different regions of Romania. Results indicated that abbots' expectations concerning their visitors are focused on religious matters, but they are also interested in offering tourist related facilities. The article concludes with an examination of the possible management issues brought by an increased number of visitors at the religious settlement.

Keywords: religious tourism, Orthodox monasteries, motivation, visitor experience, development, management issues, Orthodox Christians, Romania, religion

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