Recent years have seen the blossoming of cultural/heritage tourism. Culture, however, is a broad concept. As a consequence, cultural/heritage tourism can be segmented into smaller, more specific sub-categories. Among these are religious and political tourism. A close examination of political tourism and religious tourism reveals that political tourists and religious tourists share similar motivations and make use of similar attractions. However, the interrelation between religious and political tourism has not been examined yet in academia. This connection is particularly evident in Northern Ireland. Nonetheless, it appears that the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is failing to recognise this interrelation and is refusing to acknowledge the Province’s political heritage potential contrarily to a number of private tourism organizations. In this study the views of public and private tourism sector organizations within Northern Ireland on the development and promotion of politico-religious tourism in the Province are explored. Additionally, the paper investigates weather the different organizations are prepared to collaborate to assist opportunities associated with political and religious sites and attractions. The findings suggest that Northern Ireland is not ready for the promotion of politico-religious tourism and that cultural tourism is preferable at the moment. However, collaboration is welcomed by most public and private sector organizations.
|Type||Conference paper presented at the International Conference on Culture and Event Tourism: Issues and Debates|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 6 Nov 2008|