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Religious Experiences of Travellers Visiting the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe (Spain)

Rafael Robina Ramírez () and Manuel Pulido Fernández ()
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Rafael Robina Ramírez: Business and Sociology Department, University of Extremadura, Avenida de la Universidad s/n, 10071 Cáceres (Extremadura), Spain
Manuel Pulido Fernández: Geography Department, University of Extremadura, Avenida de la Universidad s/n, 10071 Cáceres (Extremadura), Spain

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 6, 1-19

Abstract: The Royal Monastery of Guadalupe has been one of the most important religious destinations in Spain since the 14th century, when the black wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary (sculpted in the 1st century AD) was found. It was declared a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) in 1993 and is presently a tourism attraction of international interest. It is visited by more than 60,000 tourists annually, including pilgrims and other people interested in the cultural and natural heritage of the area. The aim of this study was to decipher ways that religiousness is experienced by tourists with different motivations, i.e., to better understand how religion is linked to tourism through embodied notions of godliness in different modalities of tourism. A total of 242 visitors were interviewed in the summer of 2017. They were asked about the main motivations for their visits, which were classified into five groups (religious, cultural, environmental, social, and educational reasons) and used as latent variables in a path structural equation model (SEM). The model showed strong predictive power (R 2 = 87.5%) reporting a significant positive influence of religious, cultural, and environmental motivations on religious tourism in this region.

Keywords: religious tourism; pilgrimage; motivations; environment; ancient paths; educational motivation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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