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Motivation factors for visiting religious sites:
The case of Lesvos Island


Irene Kamenidou1* and Rafaela Vourou2

 

Received: 21/11/2013 Accepted: 24/04/2014

 

1Marketing Professor. School of Management and Economics, Department of Business Administration, Eastern Macedonian and Thrace Institute of Technology, Ag. Loukas Kavala, 654 04, Greece. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , phone: +030 2510462157
2 School of Management and Economics, Department of Business Administration, Eastern Macedonian and Thrace Institute of Technology. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
* Corresponding author

 

Abstract
 

This study investigates tourist’s motivations for visiting religious sites in Lesvos, a religious destination island in Greece. Data was collected in Lesvos during the Orthodox Easter period of 2013 implementing a sample of 210 tourists who had visited a monastery during their stay on the island. In order to measure tourists’ motivation for religious site visitation in Lesvos, 15 motivation components were used. Data analysis included descriptive analysis and factor analysis. The findings based on descriptive statistics (Mean Scores) suggest that the main reasons for visitation to monasteries and churches in Lesvos Island were pilgrimage motives, i.e. “To worship”, “I have made a vow” and “In order to get well (health reasons)”. On the other hand, the reasons with the lowest Mean Scores regarding visitation to monasteries and churches in Lesvos Island were secular reasons: “It is in “fashion”- it is trendy”, “To do shopping”, and for “Research /educational reasons”. Factor analysis of the motivations components identified 3 factors, interpreting 66.5% of the total variance, i.e. “Secular and cultural motives”, “Pilgrimage motives”, and “Spiritual motives”. The findings of this research offer important practical implications for promoting Lesvos for religion tourism.

 

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Keywords: religion tourism; tourist motivation; pilgrimage, tourist behaviour


Citation: Kamenidou, I. and Vourou, R. (2015) Motivation factors for visiting religious sites: The
case of Lesvos Island. European Journal of Tourism Research  9,  pp.78-91

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European Journal of Тourism Research