Eastern Geographical Review

An Overview of Religious Tourism and Analytical Approaches for İzmir


Ege Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Coğrafya Bölümü, İzmir, Türkiye

Eastern Geographical Review 2022; 27: 1-18
DOI: 10.5152/EGJ.2022.975260
Read: 357 Downloads: 86 Published: 27 December 2022

Religious tourism, which has a long history, is an indispensable type of tourism, although it is quite different from the past in terms of scope and applications. Because the relationship of people and societies with faith continues uninterruptedly, new beliefs are born at the same time, the economic and social positive effects of religious tourism maintain their importance, and they can respond to diversification in tourism and the search for new destinations. Therefore, when new ones were added to the old and well-established places of visit of this niche market, places where religious visits could be made from local to universal increased in every corner of the world. The aim of this study is twofold: The first is to deal with the main concepts of religious tourism, its historical development, innovations, its existence in the world and in Turkey. The second is to explain the situation of İzmir, which, despite having important resources for religious tourism, could not reach a certain position in the international market. A research carried out in 2019 has been the main source of motivation in organizing this comprehensive subject, which extends from general to specific, in the form of an article. According to the findings, most of the works open to religious tourism in the central city and districts of İzmir belong to the religion of Islam. Religious tourism in İzmir draws a one-way profile consisting of visits only. Therefore, although this type of tourism has a high development potential, it exhibits a weak structure. In order to accelerate religious tourism in İzmir, this type of tourism should be one of the goals in the tourism strategy of the province, innovative developments in the world should be followed and inferences should be obtained. Other suggestions are as follows: religious tourism should be renewed in the triangle of spiritual tourism, creative tourism, and transformational tourism, demand and product diversification should be made and personalized products should be created. In addition, various events should be organized throughout the year, religious resources should not be allowed to turn away from their special identity and become touristic, and local and spiritual values should be the brand face of İzmir.

Cite this article as: Yüksel, Y. F., & Baykal, F. (2022). An overview of religious tourism and analytical approaches for İzmir. Eastern Geographical Review, 27(48), 1-18.

ISSN 1302-7956 EISSN 2717-834X