Visitors with their ‘Backs to the archaeology’: religious tourism and archaeology

Nirit Koren-Lawrence, Noga Collins-Kreiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a conceptual analysis of the crossover between religious tourism and archaeology. It begins with a clarification of what religious tourism is and continues to consider the link between archaeological sites, religious heritage and religious tourism. It then moves on to a supply-focused typology of sites and a typology of visitors according to their characteristics. It also discusses the primary conflicts existing today between archaeology and religious tourism. In light of this discussion, it concludes with thoughts on possible future research needs. The paper conceptualized the multiple relationships between religious tourism and religious archaeology. Archaeological remains that also serve as attractions for religious tourism appear to have unique characteristics, the understanding of which is important for long-term planning and development that will take into consideration archaeological, religious, political, and tourism needs. A better understanding of these contexts may also ultimately contribute to our understanding of the development versus conservation arguments facing archaeological areas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)138-149
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2019


  • Israel
  • Religious tourism
  • archaeology
  • conflicts
  • religious archaeology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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