Christian tourism in the Middle East

Holy Land and Mediterranean perspectives

Authored by: Dallen J. Timothy , Amos S. Ron

Routledge Handbook on Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138651920
eBook ISBN: 9781315624525
Adobe ISBN:


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The important role of the Middle East in the development of Christianity cannot be overstated. In fact, it is the core origin of the faith and continues to be its most desirable pilgrimage destination. This chapter provides a broad look at Christian travel to the Middle East, which is not relegated only to Israel but to other countries identified as the broader Holy Land. A three-part typology of Christian tourism in MENA is developed. The categories include destinations, products and dissonance. The destinations section examines the Holy Land from a broad geographical perspective, delineates it and argues why it remains such a pivotal area for Christians to visit. The travel products of Christianity include, amongst other things, tour packages and cruises, themed spaces, volunteer opportunities and hiking trails. Finally, dissonance conveys the travel differences manifested by varying denominations, spatial contestations in Jerusalem regarding the locations of events in the life of Christ, and the development of ‘solidarity’ visits to Christian Arabs in the Palestinian territories and to various pro-Israel localities and events.

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