Religious tourism

 



Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism, whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes. North American religious tourists comprise an estimated $10 billion of this industry.

Religious tourism comprises many facets of the travel industry including:
Pilgrimages
Missionary travel
Leisure (fellowship) vacations
Faith-based cruising
Crusades, conventions and rallies
Retreats
Monastery visits and guest-stays
Faith-based camps
Religious tourist attractions

Statistics

Although no definitive study has been completed on worldwide religious tourism, some segments of the industry have been measured:

According to the World Tourism Organization, an estimated 300 to 330 million pilgrims visit the world’s key religious sites every year.

According to the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Americans traveling overseas for „religious or pilgrimage” purposes has increased from 491,000 travelers in 2002 to 633,000 travelers in 2005 (30% increase).
According to the Religious Conference Management Association, in 2006 more than 14.7 million people attended religious meetings (RCMA members), an increase of more than 10 million from 1994 with 4.4 million attendees.

The United Methodist Church experienced an increase of 455% in mission volunteers from 1992 with almost 20,000 volunteers compared to 110,000 volunteers in 2006.

The Christian Camp and Conference Association states that more than eight million people are involved in CCCA member camps and conferences, including more than 120,000 churches.

Religious attractions including Sight & Sound Theatre attracts 800,000 visitors a year while the Holy Land Experience and Focus on the Family Welcome Center each receives about 250,000 guests annually. Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes.

50,000 churches in the United States with religious travel programs
One-quarter (25%) of travelers said they were currently interested in taking a spiritual vacation.

Religious Tourism Resources

Piligrims