Faith-based tourism attracts pilgrims to Malta

Published on : Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Faith-based tourismPeople are travelling to Malta for religious and spiritual fulfilment, according to University of Malta lecturer Dane Munro.

This phenomenon is known as faith-based tourism, which sees pilgrims from new religious movements, dark religions and Catholic religions travelling to the island on a spiritual journey.

Dr. Munro said, “Fulfillment can be achieved in different ways. It can be found in traditional churches, or in the dolce far niente (the beauty of doing nothing) attitude that characterises Maltese cafes.”

However, many pilgrims who come to Malta wish to visit old temples at Mnajdra or Ħaġar Qim for worship for satisfying needs that traditional religions or churches can no longer fulfil.

Both Heritage Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority have welcomed the phenomenon. Heritage Malta is now extending its opening hours to allow for sunrise and sunset rituals at the Maltese temples. But the extra hour is reserved exclusively for prayer.

The Malta Tourism Authority also embraced the idea of organizing a conference on October 19, 20 and 21 on this growing niche market. The conference is set to inform stakeholders on attracting faith-based tourists.

The island also attracts Roman Catholic and Protestant pilgrims, who travel to the country to relive the biblical story of St. Paul, for immersing themselves in their faith.
Anthropologists have always described Malta as “a sacred island”.

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