What is Religious tourism product development?
I am confused with pilgrimage, spritual tourism, cultural tourism, religious tourism.. And I wanted to know where the integration is. I can't put a clear boarder line among the concepts. I found it fuzzy. But i want to work on how to develope religious tourism resources into a consumable tourism product without deterring their authenticity. I can't also get access to books written on Religious tourism. I can't find any in my country.
Religious tourism product development is like any other tourism product development with a difference that the buyer/consumer of the product is a pilgrim whose main emphasis is in visiting certain religious places. Other characteristic of the product remain the same that include transporting, lodging and food etc.
Certain religious tours have specific dates and timings that must be met to complete the religious tour e.g. a Hajj pilgrim of Muslims where pilgrims have to meet a specific schedule. So it is important to be well familiar with the complete requirements of the consumer (pilgrim) for development of such a tour.
The product development essentially requires the knowledge of the user requirements and its success depends on the fact that whether the product provides best value for money or not. There are various income groups who require products matching their affordability. Hence products have to be developed keeping this aspect in mind as well.
To summarise above, I would say:
- Know your consumer's (pilgrim's) requirements
- Target the income group of the comsumer that is his/her affordability
- Make assessment of the tour period (deifferent pilgrims may have different preferences for the length of tour)
- Make assessment of the mode of travel and type of accommodation depending on the affordability of the consumer
- Food arrangements may be required depending on the destinations
- Look for the other factors related to religious tour
- Have a variety of products to satisfy the needs of different consumers/pilgrims
I hope the above steps can help you to develop a religious tourism product development