Tuesday 20 September 2011

Faith Tourism Opportunities?

Being based in Ayrshire we sometimes are a little more sensitive to the effects of the loss of flights into the area and hear how the loss of golfers from Scandinavia and Germany have for example affected hoteliers and golf courses alike.

In circumstances where markets are changing so dramatically it is those that are fleet of foot and see the opportunities that flourish. Sitting back and waiting for someone else to develop new routes is just not going to happen. Developing new products for current markets is a lot more feasible for Scottish tourism producers than attracting new markets.

The following was extracted from a tourism review website and certainly offers some food for thought given the Polish flights still coming through Prestwick Airport

According to the report more and more Polish travelers go for religious tours with France and Spain being amongst the most popular destinations.

"Although not the cheapest, religious and spiritual tours are growing in popularity among Polish travelers. Religious traditions are deeply rooted in the lives of Poles and thus traveling to destinations connected to their faith is high in demand.

The industry of faith tourism underwent considerable changes in the country. In the past, pilgrimage traveling was mostly associated with pensioners and the prices were quite low. Today, tourists from various social groups want to travel to Rome, Lourdes and Fatima, the most popular faith tourism destination.

The quality of offered services went naturally up and now full board and quality accommodation are a standard part of a religious tour. Tour guides are usually experienced and have extensive knowledge about the destinations and sights. The level of religious tours is increasing steadily. Among the popular tour destinations for Polish travelers are various cities in France, Spain and Greece that have some connections to apostles and other Biblical personas. Mexico and Israel are also high in demand."

Okay my understanding of religion in Poland is quite limited but is I think mostly Catholic and whilst it may not be celebrated by all the opportunities to develop specific faith tours (not only to Polish catholics) must be a nice little niche to fill some off season bedspaces and coach seats.

The associations with all of those Saints? Columba, Mungo, Patrick oh yeah and that guy Andrew!

Not for all for sure but that's what added value tourism is all about is it not?

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