Components of Spirituality in Creative Tourism

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 University of Science and Culture

2 Institute of Technology in the Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR), Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Spirituality is a universal and human phenomenon which is not restricted to any religions or religious groups. In fact, spiritual experiences are thought of as special human experiences which give meaning to life. Such enlightening experiences make man connect to a higher being. Therefore, spiritual tourism is a journey on which a traveller achieves a perception of spiritual experiences. Such experiences can be gained on a long walk with a group of sympathetic fellow travelers towards religious destinations. They may also be achieved while watching a pristine view of the nature which enables the viewer to understand the creator of the scene and reach deep meanings through a creative insight. Creative tourism is mostly manifested as a form of inner expression and discovery, a tool of improvement in identity and distinction or a search for the expansion of capabilities and experiences as well as an ability to reflect the life purposefully. This type of tourism belongs to self-actualizing individuals. In fact, they are educated people who seek to give meaning to life. Therefore, the creative tourism theory is the closest approach to tourism combined with spirituality. These two categories overlap with each other significantly. In this qualitative study, the two-stage Delphi technique and desk research method were used to verify this hypothesis. Creative tourism can be thought of as a new paradigm of tourism or the third generation after coastal tourism and cultural tourism. It can also be considered an evolved type of cultural tourism which pays more attention to the intangible heritage rather than the tangible one. In either case, it is a form of network tourism in which values are created collectively through available relationships and the flow of social relationships and capital in networks. Therefore, its new management models and strategies should be identified and applied. In the current study, the desk research method was used to identify such models. Then the two-stage Delphi technique was employed to verify them.

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