Self-expression and play

can religious tourism be hedonistic?

Sean Lochrie, Ian W. F. Baxter, Elaine Collinson, Ross Curran, Martin Joseph Gannon, Babak Taheri, Jamie Thompson, Ozge Yalinay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using data collected from 538 Iranian tourists undertaking the religious pilgrimage of Umrah (i.e. voluntary travel to the holy city of Mecca at any time throughout the year), this study investigates the concept of play and its relationship with self-expression and hedonism in an Islamic tourism context. By testing a theoretically derived structural model, the findings suggest that self-expression strongly influences tourists’ sense of play. Here, play is realised when tourists feel that they can express themselves freely and augment their self-image while travelling, irrespective of the religious context. Nonetheless, the pilgrimage environment is characterised by the religious congregation–with tourists engaging in communal experiences that reflect themselves and their faith. Therefore, the ideal experience, where tourists feel a sense of escapism from the pressures of everyday life, is a product of their ability to project, develop, and ratify their self-concept. Finally, the study suggests that pilgrimage managers and marketers should focus on the importance of play, enabling their destinations to heighten the intensity of the ‘enjoyable’ elements of religious travel (e.g. group camaraderie, escapism and positive emotional reactions) alongside their inherent religious benefits.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Early online date19 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

tourist
tourism
Tourism
pilgrimage
escapism
travel
hedonism
self-concept
structural model
self-image
faith
everyday life
experience
Religious tourism
manager
Tourists
ability
Group

Keywords

  • hedonism
  • pilgrimage
  • Play
  • religious tourism
  • self-expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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title = "Self-expression and play: can religious tourism be hedonistic?",
abstract = "Using data collected from 538 Iranian tourists undertaking the religious pilgrimage of Umrah (i.e. voluntary travel to the holy city of Mecca at any time throughout the year), this study investigates the concept of play and its relationship with self-expression and hedonism in an Islamic tourism context. By testing a theoretically derived structural model, the findings suggest that self-expression strongly influences tourists’ sense of play. Here, play is realised when tourists feel that they can express themselves freely and augment their self-image while travelling, irrespective of the religious context. Nonetheless, the pilgrimage environment is characterised by the religious congregation–with tourists engaging in communal experiences that reflect themselves and their faith. Therefore, the ideal experience, where tourists feel a sense of escapism from the pressures of everyday life, is a product of their ability to project, develop, and ratify their self-concept. Finally, the study suggests that pilgrimage managers and marketers should focus on the importance of play, enabling their destinations to heighten the intensity of the ‘enjoyable’ elements of religious travel (e.g. group camaraderie, escapism and positive emotional reactions) alongside their inherent religious benefits.",
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Self-expression and play : can religious tourism be hedonistic? / Lochrie, Sean; Baxter, Ian W. F.; Collinson, Elaine; Curran, Ross; Gannon, Martin Joseph; Taheri, Babak; Thompson, Jamie; Yalinay, Ozge.

In: Tourism Recreation Research, 19.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - can religious tourism be hedonistic?

AU - Lochrie, Sean

AU - Baxter, Ian W. F.

AU - Collinson, Elaine

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AU - Taheri, Babak

AU - Thompson, Jamie

AU - Yalinay, Ozge

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