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Abstract

Preserving memory from the visit of a tourist destination plays an important role in tourist activity. In pilgrimage in particular, and in religious tourism in general, the preservation of this memory constitutes a spiritual process associated with the sanctity of the place. Obviously, the degree of spirituality varies according to the traveller’s personality and religious beliefs. Following the return home, the religious memorabilia and ‘souvenirs’ play an important role in the ‘confirmation’ of the trip or the fulfilment of the vow, as well as in the preservation of the memory. At first one could claim that religious souvenirs serve or have similar functions and symbolisms as the usual souvenirs bought in a traditional tourist trip. However, in their case, the symbolisms as well as the uses are differentiated, since this type of souvenir carries special personal and social value and serves different functions. Frequently, apart from their liturgical or salvation character, they simply exhibit ‘pseudo-religious’ characteristics. In every case, the market of religious souvenirs is growing into a profitable commercial activity and its financial cost rates high in the amount of money spent at the tourist destination. The above findings are based on a survey conducted via the use of structured questionnaire during the summer of 2017 among the visitors to the Church of Saint Dionysios in Zakynthos Island, Greece.

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