[Publication] Spiritual (walking) tourism as a foundation for sustainable destination development: Kumano-kodo pilgrimage, Wakayama, Japan
An article written by Prof. Kumi Kato (Wakayama University) was published in a tourism academic journal, the Tourism Management Perspectives.
Spiritual (walking) tourism as a foundation for sustainable destination development: Kumano-kodo pilgrimage, Wakayama, Japan
Kumi Kato, Faculty of Tourism, Wakayama University, Wakayama, Japan
Ricardo Nicolas Progano, Faculty of Tourism, Wakayama University, Wakayama, Japan
Tourism Management Perspectives
Spiritually motivated travels and specifically pilgrimage, have been an important part of tourism, and today carries a much wider connotation beyond religion including health, wellness and self-improvement. Pilgrims, especially those travelling on foot, have specific interests closely related to sustainability and this mode of travel, which may be defined as slow tourism, helps shape the kinds of tourism services provided by surrounding communities and direct destination planning and development. This is observed in the case of the World Heritage nominated pilgrimage trail, Nakahechi, Kumano in Wakayama, Japan. Referring to the evolving meaning of spirituality and tourism globally and in Japan, the paper explores the significance of today's spiritualities in destination management from local communities' perspectives. This is part of an ongoing study that employs critical and hopeful tourism perspectives as a platform, situating spirituality as a basis for sustainability and advocating slow engagement with local place and its people.
Spirituality; Pilgrimage; Sustainability; Walking; Kumano; Japan