Religious Tourism in South Africa: Challenges, Prospects, and Opportunities

Religious Tourism in South Africa: Challenges, Prospects, and Opportunities

Unathi Sonwabile Henama (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa) and Portia Pearl Siyanda Sifolo (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2796-1.ch007


The growth of tourism in South Africa after the end of apartheid can be associated with the growth of various forms of special interest tourism. Religious tourism as a form of special interest tourism is possibly the most important contributor of tourism geographical dispersion in South Africa. South Africa's religious tourism is dominated by Christian religious pilgrimage. Religious pilgrimages produce positive spin off for many destinations in South Africa, which may not be regarded as traditional tourism destinations. Religious-linked domestic travel continues to dominate domestic tourism expenditure. The existence of several African Initiated Churches such as the Zion Christian Church and the Nazareth Baptist Church attract several million worshippers during their religious pilgrimages, attracting worshippers beyond South Africa. Robben Island, which is a shrine for the anti-apartheid struggle, has a glorious Muslim resistance history, which is yet to be exploited by the Robben Island Museum. This chapter adds to the academic literature on religious tourism.
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Special Interest Tourism

The tourism market is very diverse and can be divided into many segments, all of which share similar consumer behaviour patterns. Several of these market segments are also referred to as niche tourism. A niche is a market segment, usually with a well-defined product that can be tailored to meet the interest of the consumer. (George, 2014, p. 123)

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