Event Title

The Spirituality of the Leader and its influence on Visitor Experience Management at Sacred Sites in the Island of Ireland: Insights and implications

Location

1C - Motivation and Experience

Start Date

30-6-2017 9:30 AM

End Date

30-6-2017 11:00 AM

Description

Despite growing interest in understanding the sacred site visitor experience management, scholars have predominantly explored the phenomenon from the visitor’s perspective. There is very little exploration from the managerial perspectives, given that decisions regarding the nature of the experience, the product and service delivery strategies aimed at providing a diversity of visitors with rewarding, satisfying and memorable experiences, solely depends on these individuals, whose personal attributes may play a fundamental role. In this case their spirituality may either implicitly or explicitly influence visitor experience management strategies, and their implementations have not received attention in the religious and pilgrimage tourism scholarship. This is especially important given its relevance in providing an understanding of the rather complex and sensitive sacred site visitor experience management phenomenon. Thus, the current study seeks to fill a significant gap in literature, through an exploration of the ways in which the spirituality of leaders at a diverse category of Irish sacred sites influences visitor experience management at these holy places and the implications for resource development and visitor satisfaction. Through qualitative interviews with 23 ‘leaders’. An analysis of these interviews provides participants’ own words that reveal how the spirituality of leaders at different levels in the organisations influences visitor experience management strategies and their implementations, revealing that the more spiritual the leader the more inclined they are towards visitor experience management strategies that cater to the religiously/ spiritually -motivated visitor and vice versa. Hence, the results of the study suggest that the spirituality of the leader, either based on religion or upon secularity, implicitly or explicitly determines and influences the development of a visitor experience management strategy and their implementations, and has significant implications for resource development and visitor satisfaction. Such observations have significant implications in the management of a diversity of visitor needs and expectations, and questions to what extent visitors’ needs and expectations are effectively catered for, while highlighting the complexities involved in effectively catering to the visitor experiences at sacred sites.

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Jun 30th, 9:30 AM Jun 30th, 11:00 AM

The Spirituality of the Leader and its influence on Visitor Experience Management at Sacred Sites in the Island of Ireland: Insights and implications

1C - Motivation and Experience

Despite growing interest in understanding the sacred site visitor experience management, scholars have predominantly explored the phenomenon from the visitor’s perspective. There is very little exploration from the managerial perspectives, given that decisions regarding the nature of the experience, the product and service delivery strategies aimed at providing a diversity of visitors with rewarding, satisfying and memorable experiences, solely depends on these individuals, whose personal attributes may play a fundamental role. In this case their spirituality may either implicitly or explicitly influence visitor experience management strategies, and their implementations have not received attention in the religious and pilgrimage tourism scholarship. This is especially important given its relevance in providing an understanding of the rather complex and sensitive sacred site visitor experience management phenomenon. Thus, the current study seeks to fill a significant gap in literature, through an exploration of the ways in which the spirituality of leaders at a diverse category of Irish sacred sites influences visitor experience management at these holy places and the implications for resource development and visitor satisfaction. Through qualitative interviews with 23 ‘leaders’. An analysis of these interviews provides participants’ own words that reveal how the spirituality of leaders at different levels in the organisations influences visitor experience management strategies and their implementations, revealing that the more spiritual the leader the more inclined they are towards visitor experience management strategies that cater to the religiously/ spiritually -motivated visitor and vice versa. Hence, the results of the study suggest that the spirituality of the leader, either based on religion or upon secularity, implicitly or explicitly determines and influences the development of a visitor experience management strategy and their implementations, and has significant implications for resource development and visitor satisfaction. Such observations have significant implications in the management of a diversity of visitor needs and expectations, and questions to what extent visitors’ needs and expectations are effectively catered for, while highlighting the complexities involved in effectively catering to the visitor experiences at sacred sites.