This panel will explore the global expansion and changing character of pilgrimage, intimately associated with the travel and tourism industry and consumerism, through an analysis of the organization of local space and ritual as well as the use of new technologies.
Since the Second World pilgrimage has become ever more significant with increasing numbers of people visiting religious shrines, the proliferation of routes to these destinations and the development of non-religious modes, such as 'spiritual' and 'secular' pilgrimage. The interweaving of pilgrimage and tourism bound up with the global expansion of the travel and tourism industry and consumerism has also helped to break down the binary between pilgrimage and tourism and create hybrid forms such as 'pilgrimage tourism' and 'religious tourism' but also increase the 'privatization' of pilgrimage sites expressed, for example, through regulation and control, and commercialization.
In this workshop we want to explore these developments through a comparison between different sites around Europe and the wider world, focusing on:
1) changes in the organization of space and ritual at these sites and along the routes leading to these sites as well as changing modes of travel and consumerism;
2) and, relatedly, the role played by new technologies, such as the development of websites by shrines, the use of mobile phones, blogs, images by visitors as well as the contribution made by travel and tourism companies and the media.