• Worship & sightseeing: building a partnership approach to a ministry of welcome

      Wiltshier, Peter; Clarke, Alan; University of Derby; University of Pannonia (2013)
      This paper explores diverse opportunities for partnerships between the sacred and secular at religious sites. It identifies ways in which tourism suppliers can work collaboratively with sacred sites to enable sites to meet the demands of contemporary secular and sacred stakeholders. In the review of contemporary literature we consider supply and demand issues, site management, key components of partnership, ecumenical co-creation resources, cost-benefit and marketing needs. The paper is predicated on the provision of information and interpretation services for guidance, and development of all of these services. Methodologically, a participant observation approach was employed to confirm that tourism fits the strategic intent of religious leaders. We consider that partnership at a national, diocesan and parish level is an important part in effective tourism development. Elements of community involvement; capacity building and in- community development through engaging stakeholders are discussed. The balance achieved between stakeholders is important, and in our context the balance between local government and the tourism industry, and between active partners and the passive policy community, reflects the aims of the sacred and the private sector key partners, and the wider social capacity building aspects of community development agendas and government.