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Balancing tourism and religious experience: understanding devotees' perspectives on Thaipusam in Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia


Kasim, Azilah (2011) Balancing tourism and religious experience: understanding devotees' perspectives on Thaipusam in Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 20 (3-4). pp. 441-456. ISSN 1936-8623

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Abstract

Among the many personas of cultural heritage offered to global tourism, religious or faith-based tourism is perhaps the least prominent.However, this often-ignored component of tourism resources is turning into a booming business, as can be seen in the case of Mecca and Jerusalem. In essence, religious tourism is a good example of pro-poor tourism because it can generate good tourism income, develop the local economy, and bring about other possible benefits such as employment and local access to outside goods and services.However, the excitement of making profit from religious tourism should not be allowed to overshadow its traditional role of promoting spiritual healing and piety.This article argues that understanding the significance of a religious event amongst its followers will preserve the real purpose of religious travel and tourism and provide insights of a balanced management approach of a religious tourism destination.Using Malaysia as a study context, the article highlights qualitative findings from an open-ended questions survey on Hindu parents of University Utara Malaysia students.The findings highlight the meaning and importance of Thaipusam amongst the devotees, the balance of tourism and religious activities while at the sacred site as well as issues, concerns and improvements required to increase their quality of experience in Batu Caves.The article ends with a discussion on the implications of the findings on the management of a religious tourism destination.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thaipusam,religious tourism,tourist experiences, tourist behaviors,Malaysia
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: College of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Azilah Kasim
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2014 03:02
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2014 03:02
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/12341

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