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Abstract

This research investigates the role of economic factors in affecting faith-based travelling to Saudi Arabia and suggests GDP per capita income, relative price, population size, trade volume and cost of travelling as major determinants of religious tourism to the country of destination. This study is an important contribution to the literature on religious tourism as it provides empirical linkages between spiritual decisions and economic influences. In addition, this study adds new propositions to theory and identifies religious tourism as a ‘Veblen good’. This research uses monthly data covering the time period 2004 m1 - 2015m12. It employs an ARDL bound testing approach as well as a conditional error correction model to determine the demand function and quantifies the magnitude of long-run relationship between the variables and finally constructs bootstrap confidence intervals to determine their statistical significance.

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