Buddhism and Religious Tourism

Courtney Bruntz

in Buddhism

ISBN: 9780195393521
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:
Buddhism and Religious Tourism


The relationship between Buddhism and religious tourism has increasingly become an important topic with diverse academic fields. Across Asia, locations and physical sites associated with Buddhism or the historical Buddha are now part of tourism circuits, and early-21st-century tourism developments have contributed to the revitalization of Buddhist sites. Traditional models of tourism and pilgrimage have separated the pilgrim from the tourist, with pilgrimage referring to explicit religious activities and tourism meaning nonreligious secular ones. Early-21st-century works have included studies merging the two categories, arguing that in modern settings, pilgrims are becoming more like tourists and tourists are becoming more like pilgrims. This has resulted in studies on religious tourism, sometimes called “spiritual tourism,” that refer to any travel motivated by religion, where the site at one point was associated with a religion. Religious tourism in this manner encompasses activities both associated and not associated with pilgrimage to a sacred site, including sightseeing, cultivation, and recreation. Religious tourism has also come to include activities related to culture consumption that occur at religious sites. Because of these diverse activities associated with religious tourism, literature is increasingly amalgamating the tourist and the pilgrim, and ethnographic studies are prevalent.

Article.  6553 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism ; Tibetan Buddhism ; Zen Buddhism

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