Tourists and ‘philosophers’: Nature as a medium to consciousness and transcendence in spiritual tourism
Shaohua Wang, Dani Blasco, Amran Hamzah & Bas Verschuuren2023
Nature is a vital context for transcendent experiences fostering the spiritual dimensions of humankind. Analysing data from protected areas in China, this paper investigates the ways in which spirituality permeates nature-based tourism. A thematic analysis was undertaken to interpret 27 semi-structured in-depth interviews with professionals and tourists. Findings enable the construction of a hierarchical framework of spiritual tourism achievement and highlight the need to create links between protected areas, tourists, and natural ‘mediums’. Nature is acknowledged as a means of overcoming spiritual emptiness in a secular nation where religions function in a limited way and traditional wisdom is undervalued. This study proposes a nature-based, philosophy-oriented tourism development model, which sheds light on theoretical and practical domains alike.
Wang, S.; Blasco, D.; Hamzah, A.; Verschuuren, B. (2023) Tourists and ‘philosophers’: Nature as a medium to consciousness and transcendence in spiritual tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 99 (2023) 103543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2023.103543