Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism, whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes. North American religious tourists comprise an estimated $10 billion of this industry.[1]

Tourism segments

Religious tourism comprises many facets of the travel industry including:

Videos on Religious Tourism

  • Discover the World of Religious Tourism Video [2]

Hindu Religious Tourism Centres in India

The major hindu religious tourism centres in India are:-

  • Thirupathi temple, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Akshar Dham, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat.
  • Amarnath Temple, Pahalgam, Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Somnath Temple, Gujarat.
  • Vaishnodevi Temple, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Kailash Temple, Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  • Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa.
  • Chidambaram Temple, Chidambaram, Tamilnadu.
  • Mahabalipuram Temple, Tamilnadu.
  • Rameswaram Temple, Tamilnadu.
  • Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamilnadu.
  • Badarinath Temple, Uthranchal.
  • Naina Devi Temple, Bilaspur, Himachalpradesh.
  • Sabarimala Temple, Pathanamthitta, Kerala.
  • Guruvayoor Temple, Guruvayoor, Trichur, Kerala
  • Kodungallor Temple, Trichur, Kerala
  • Chettikulangara Temple, Mavelikkara, Kerala.
  • Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala.


Although no definitive study has been completed on worldwide religious tourism, some segments of the industry have been measured:

  • According to the World Tourism Organization, an estimated 300 to 330 million pilgrims visit the world's key religious sites every year.
  • According to the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Americans traveling overseas for "religious or pilgrimage" purposes has increased from 491,000 travelers in 2002 to 633,000 travelers in 2005 (30% increase).
  • According to the Religious Conference Management Association, in 2006 more than 14.7 million people attended religious meetings (RCMA members), an increase of more than 10 million from 1994 with 4.4 million attendees. [1]
  • The United Methodist Church experienced an increase of 455% in mission volunteers from 1992 with almost 20,000 volunteers compared to 110,000 volunteers in 2006.
  • The Christian Camp and Conference Association states that more than eight million people are involved in CCCA member camps and conferences, including more than 120,000 churches. [2]
  • Religious attractions including Sight & Sound Theatre attracts 800,000 visitors a year while the Holy Land Experience and Focus on the Family Welcome Center each receives about 250,000 guests annually. [3]Religious tourism, also commonly referred to as faith tourism, is a form of tourism whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes.
  • 50,000 churches in the United States with religious travel programs
  • One-quarter (25%) of travelers said they were currently interested in taking a spiritual vacation. [4]

In the News

  • Destination of the World News[5]
  • Forbes Traveler: Greatest Religious Tours[6]
  • USA TODAY: 10 Great Places to Market Christianity's Holiest Day[7]
  • CBS Early Show: Rest, relaxation, & religion [8]
  • TIME Magazine: Spirit and adventure [9]
  • USA TODAY: On a wing and a prayer [10]
  • The New York Times: 21st-century religious travel, Leave the sackcloth at home [11]
  • The Los Angeles Times: More agencies are serving the flock - religious travelers [12]
  • Companies see increased interest in spiritual tours [13]
  • Rocky Mountain News: In the footsteps of the faithful [14]
  • The Grand Rapids Press: Spiritual journeys take off in the travel industry [15]
  • Yahoo! Business Traveler: Keeping the Faith [16]
  • Washington Post: Seeking answers with field trips in faith [17]
  • Nassau Guardian (Bahamas): Religious niche being targeted by Bahamas Ministry [18]

See also


External links

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