This study develops themes for branding Islamic spiritual tourism based on attitudes and behaviors of spiritual tourists. To explore strategies to brand spiritual tourism, in-depth interviews were conducted with respondents in Australia and Pakistan. Convenience sampling was employed to select spiritual tourists in both countries to examine their perspectives on branding Islamic spiritual tourism. People were found to be hesitant to discuss their spiritual experiences hence interviews were designed to strut with general tourism experiences leading to special interests and then to spiritual dimensions. Thematic analysis of all interview transcripts was used to identify emerging themes. Findings identified two new brands for spiritual tourism: inclusive and exclusive Islamic spiritual tourism. Inclusive Islamic spiritual tourism indicated the intention of tourists to achieve spiritual growth from visiting destinations and events considered sacred by any religion. Whereas, exclusive Islamic spiritual tourism indicated the intention of spiritual tourists oriented towards Islam only. Research concludes with evidence to brand Islamic spiritual tourism based upon inclusive and exclusive attitudes of spiritual tourists for better marketing. This research has filled a gap in the literature of branding spiritual tourism and tourism marketing.
Field of Research
150503 Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)