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Edited by Özlem Sandıkcı and Gillian Rice
17 Exploring marketing strategies for Islamic spiritual tourism Farooq Haq and Ho Yin Wong INTRODUCTION Business and sociology researchers are showing increased interest in spirituality and related issues (Pesut, 2003; Hill, 2002; Cimino and Lattin, 1999; Konz and Ryan, 1999). The rediscovery of spirituality as a cure for humanity’s ills has been credited to the rise in commercialism and individualism in almost all societies of today’s world (Kale, 2004; Piedmont and Leach, 2002; Lewis and Geroy, 2000). This global change and attention to spirituality has been appreciated and embraced by various industries (Mitroff and Denton, 1999). For example, the tourism industry has welcomed this growth of interest in spirituality (Tilson, 2005; Mitroff and Denton, 1999; Cohen, 1972 and 1992). Spirituality and related issues are also gaining significance among Muslim communities around the world (Azam, 2010; Francesconi, 2009; Rustom, 2008; Maneri, 2006). Increased curiosity about Islamic spirituality is evidenced in the study conducted by the Pew Global Organization (2005), which concluded that the majority of Muslims around the world were prouder of being called Muslims than of being nationals of a particular country. A shift towards religiosity and spiritual awareness among young Muslims residing in different countries is noticeable (Alserhan, 2010; Azam, 2010; Poynting and Mason, 2006). Young Muslims are showing interest in various facets of Islamic spirituality, including tourism. As a branch of tourism marketing, spiritual tourism marketing has started to attract attention from academia and business practitioners. Some empirical studies have examined the role of promotional campaigns in spiritual...
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