@ 2010Religious TourismIntroductionReligious tourism can also be referred to as a faith tourism that entails individuals or a group of believers traveling for missionary, pilgrimage and fellowship leisure purposes. One of the most common forms of religious tourism is the one that takes place in Saudi Arabia where millions of Muslims globally pay a visit to the Hajj pilgrimage annually to the Mecca. In North America, there is an estimation of about 10 billion U. S dollars in this industry (Clare, 2007). There are many facets of travel in the industry of religious tourism and these are such as missionary travel, faith-based cruising, retreats, conventions, religious tourist attractions, missionary travel among others PilgrimagePilgrimage can be defined as a very long journey that is taken by believers of different religions throughout the world and it is a very important journey to the faith and beliefs of an individual or a group of people all over the world.
A person taking this long journey is referred to as a pilgrim. The main aim of a pilgrim is to ensure that he or she has made a significant development in his or her faith beliefs and has also added moral significance into their lives (Meri, 2005). Pilgrimage is practiced by members of different religions ranging from Islamic religion to Christianity and they all do it in accordance with their own beliefs and faith.
As the journey begins for both Christians and Muslims, the focal point is the Holy land and pilgrimages for the Abrahamic religions like Islam, Judaism and Christianity all tend to take place in Israel. The visitation sites of such places in Israel were already built by 7th century BCH and this was at the time when worship had only been restricted to the YHWH and this used to take place in the temple of Jerusalem.
Other pilgrimage sites also existed in the 4th century such as the shrine of Astarte which was destroyed by Constantine in Syria since he did not believe in it. Another notable forms of pilgrimage is the one that used to take place in Greece where individuals would make their way to the oracle of Dodona or Zeus and they did this once after every four years mainly during the Olympic Games in Greece and the temple of Olympia created space for swarms of people who came from each part of the Hellenic world.
Alexander the great also participated in pilgrimage because when he reached in Egypt he decided to put all his vast on hold so that he could go and consult the oracle of Ammun and he did this into the Libyan Desert. He did this because he also believed so much in pilgrimage and he wanted to improve his faith and beliefs.
Many people from Greece inscribed for the shrine of Isis which was in Palate and they did this on behalf of the kindred’s that were far away. Pilgrimage has turned out to be one of the most common experiences between people all around the world with different beliefs. This common belief between people from different parts of world is referred to as Jungian archetype. For religious people form all parts of the world, pilgrimage is a very important thing and they do anything that they can so as not to miss out.
Muslims who want to pay a visit to the Mecca can do anything within their reach so as not to miss the event at the Mecca. Religions with the most common pilgrimage sites are such as Islam, Sikhism and Judaism (Hitrec, 1991).