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Proposing A Conceptual Model for Understanding the Transformative Experiences of Pilgrimage Tourists

Abstract
Pilgrimage tourism has seen increasing popularity among tourists and growing research attention in the past decade. Although previous research documented various benefits of pilgrimage to tourists, which aligns well with the concept of transformation, a holistic understanding of what constitutes tourist transformative experiences is still missing. To address this gap, this paper proposes a model of eight elements (i.e., long-distance walking, being in nature, community, religion/spirituality, simplicity, challenge, multiculturalism, and art, history, and culture) that have potential for facilitating tourist transformative experiences, using the Camino de Santiago as a case study. Literature support for each element of the proposed model is presented, with rationales for how these elements may work together to provide transformative experiences for tourists. The proposed model, to be further tested among Camino pilgrims in 2022, contributes to an enhanced understanding of pilgrimage tourist experience and targeted efforts for the success and sustainability of pilgrimage trails.
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event
Date
2022
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