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Thursday, 24 May from 10:20-11:50

a. Spiritual Tourism in Africa
b. Tourism Contribution towards Poverty Alleviation the Reality and the Myths
c. Understanding Cultural Relationships in Natural Area Tourism Destinations

Advances in Tourism Research - Academic Perspectives


Catherine Jane Rogers, Doctoral Student, Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Education Central Queensland University
Spiritual Tourism in Africa
This paper discusses the relatively new and growing area of spiritual tourism.  It discusses the changing concept of spirituality in post modern society; the decline of allegiance to religious doctrine; the movement toward development of the self and interconnectedness with the earth; the influence of cultural, environmental and ecological consciousness; and thus, the development of and increase in secular pilgrimage.  Further, it looks at the impact spiritual capital, gained from the journey, can have in the work, social and family communities of travellers.

She undertook an undergraduate degree in behavioural science, focussing on psychological and physiological learning and development.  This lead her to an honours degree in educational psychology, specifically experiential learning. With One & All sail training youth development programme she made a course of youth development programme under the guise of a sail-training programme. This experience required individuals to both cooperate and lead, at varying times to operate the ship, and to be exposed to the natural elements of a harsh environment.  The findings of this study supported the programme's objectives to increase self-esteem and self-discipline, understand the interconnectedness of a community, and develop team building and goal setting skills.  An unexpected outcome of the study was that participants seemed to have an experience on the voyage which could be referred to as "spiritual". She have recognised the similarities with other travellers, specifically those she had met in India. She wondered whether longer trips that people do to places like Africa and India could be recognised as non-religious, secular pilgrimages and whether the effect on self-esteem such a journey has could be connected to spirituality.  Such that the development of the self and spirituality may indeed be the same construct.  She is currently undertaking a PhD specifically looking at those who travel and undergo some form of psychological development of the self which is recognised as spiritual development, away from the historically religious aspects, within the framework of secular spiritual tourism.

Blanca Camargo, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University
Understanding Cultural Relationships in Natural Area Tourism Destinations

Blanca is a former volunteer of IIPT.


Geofrey Chambua, Executive Committee Member, Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania
Tourism Contribution towards Poverty Alleviation the Reality and the Myths

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