The increasing size of the worldwide Muslim population and the modernization of Arab countries on the international scene reinforce the rising trend of Islamic Tourism. Indeed, Islamic Tourism has gained much interest in recent years and is considered to be a very promising niche in the near future. This fairly new concept can simply be defined as intra-Muslim and intra-Arab tourism and considering Muslim countries are an emerging tourism market, this is a product with significant economic potential. It is also viewed as tourism that respects Islamic religious principles and is consequently referred to as “Halal Tourism”. In addition, it includes tourists travelling for religious purposes such as those performing the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj. Consequently, defining Islamic Tourism is a complex matter, that can be broad or narrow, as it can de defined by its type of tourist, its place of travel, its purpose of travel and way of travel. Furthermore, it is important not to omit the cultural aspects of Islamic tourism that this paper will primarily focus on; the paper considers Islamic cultural tourism sites and attractions as another element of this trend, referring to Islamic tourism in its choice of tourist activities. Indeed, Islamic and Arabic culture, heritage and history are displayed and interpreted in order to allow the visitor to discover and understand Muslims, their beliefs and way of life while facilitating their leisurely entertainment and satisfying their tourist curiosity. In this context, this papers offers to define the concept of Mosque Tourism, a term which is inexistent in the current academic literature as well as to propose a justification of its importance as a tourist activity and a central element of Islamic tourism that should be focused on to promote a sustainable growth of this new tourist trend. Indeed, the purpose of this paper is to describe and define Islamic Tourism by reviewing the tourism literature in order to give a meaning to the term Mosque Tourism, which is one of the most important activities undertaken by Muslim tourists as a religious practice as well as a tourist activity while travelling.
"Conceptualizing Mosque Tourism: A central feature of Islamic and Religious Tourism.,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijrtp/vol3/iss2/2