Academic studies on tourism market segmentation have decreased in scale over time, with the focus on tourist segmentation changing from segmenting the market as a whole to segmenting specific tourism niche markets. This change in scale can also be seen in how academics have attempted to segment the religious tourism market moving from discussions related to the pilgrim-tourist dichotomy to segmenting visitors based on religious affiliation to world regions and countries to specific religious activities such as religious festivals and infrastructural amenities such as hotels. In this paper the author, following Wall’s (1997) discussion of the spatial characteristics of tourist attractions (i.e., points, lines, and areas), raises the question as to whether there is a scalar difference in the motivations and the ‘expectation of experience’ of: people who travel to specific religious sites (points); those who travel along religiously - themed routes (lines) and; those who travel to the Holy Land (area). To answer this question the author looks at and compares three case studies - Cathedrals in the United Kingdom (point), the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (line), and the Holy Land (area) - and summarizes the academic literature pertaining to the characteristics, motivations and expectations of experience of visitors to these locations. Cursory findings show that there are differences regarding the motivations and the ‘expectation of experience’ of people who travel to religious points versus religious lines and religious areas.
Olsen, Daniel H.
"A Scalar Comparison of Motivations and Expectations of Experience within the Religious Tourism Market,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijrtp/vol1/iss1/5