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Title: Religious Tourism: Exploring a New Form of Sacred Journey in North India
Contributor(s): Shinde, Kiran  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: "Deccan to ferry pilgrims to Vaishnodevi" [Deccan Aviation, a private company, to fly passenger helicopters to a pilgrimage centre in the Himalayas] (Economic Times, 27/09/02, Bangalore) "Thomas on the pilgrim trail" [Thomas Cook, the international tour operator, enters the pilgrimage market in India with 3-star travel and lodging facilities] (Times of India, 15/05/01, Mumbai) "NIC to take a 'Holy' dip at Kumbh Mela" [National Insurance Company designs insurance policy for pilgrims] (The Hindu, 13/01/01, Bangalore) "Insurance cover for devotees" [at Sabrimala] (Economic Times, 25/01/01, Bangalore) Headlines such as the above, appearing in Indian newspapers, are indicative of the changing nature of pilgrimage travel in India. Only a few years ago, at the turn of the millennium, an appropriate term to describe what was occurring at some sacred sites in India did not appear to exist, but today an Internet search gives more than fifty websites which provide package deals for a pilgrimage or religious tour along some of the popular pilgrimage circuits in India. There is increasing recognition of the fact that pilgrimage to sacred sites - or more commonly pilgrimage centres - is a mainstay of domestic tourism in India (Gladstone, 2005; Singh, 2001). A media report states that more than 100 million Indians embark on pilgrimages each year (Times of India, 2001). Even though such travel is increasingly showing characteristics typical of mass tourism, it is still described within the context of pilgrimage; yet this conventional outlook is problematic if meaningful policies are to be designed to address growth and change in domestic tourism in India.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Asian Tourism: Growth and Change, p. 245-257
Publisher: Elsevier
Place of Publication: London, England, UK
ISBN: 9780080453569
Field of Research (FOR): 160402 Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography
160403 Social and Cultural Geography
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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Series Name: Advances in Tourism Research
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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