Travel motivations of pilgrims, religious tourists, and spirituality seekers

Authored by: Darius Liutikas

The Routledge Handbook of Religious and Spiritual Tourism

Print publication date:  July  2021
Online publication date:  July  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367191955
eBook ISBN: 9780429201011
Adobe ISBN:


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Pilgrims’ motivations have long been of interest to scholars of religious tourism and pilgrimage. Many cultural influences cause people to undertake pilgrimages, and there are as many motives for pilgrimage as there are spiritual or religious needs (Davidson & Gitlitz 2002). There are many theories of motivation and social action that can help explore the phenomenon of pilgrimage. Different social and motivational theories and classifications of pilgrims are presented here to identify the main motivating factors behind people’s decisions to undertake a religious journey. The term ‘motivation’ refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behavior (Nevid 2013). Motivation is an inner state of an individual that helps satisfy both psychological and physiological needs. Motives are the wants or needs that drive behavior and explain why we humans do what we do (Nevid 2013).

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