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Abstract

The city of Manresa, located in the heart of Catalonia, has spent years trying to make profitable its cultural and urban heritage as a strategy for a better tourism positioning among other mid-sized cities that are competing for attracting tourists in an increasingly competitive global context. However, for various reasons the city has not been able to earn a place in Catalonia’s tourism scene, and it still remains in a preliminary tourism development stage. In this sense, the latest initiative taken by the city council has to do with its religious heritage, through the project ‘Manresa 2022’, which consists of recovering the figure of Ignatius of Loyola; taking advantage of that year during which will be commemorated the Fifth centenary of the stay (almost one year) of this celebrity in the city. It was in Manresa where he had his mystical experiences that were the source of his famous work Spiritual exercises, the cornerstone of the Society of Jesus. However, despite Manresa being a world centre of pilgrimage for Jesuits, this has not come to be translated into a tourism movement perceived at the city level. In this chapter we address the difficulties that the city may have to face in order to be successful in making religious tourism into a real economic driver for the city that also contribute to a process of urban regeneration in some areas. The need to differentiate between niche markets and target each with specific initiatives is suggested. Moreover, the local population has not been traditionally aware of the tourism potential of their own city, but this could be a good opportunity to reverse this trend.

DOI

10.21427/D72S3W

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