Religion, Religious Diversity and Tourism

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP09/2014
 
Publication date: 2014
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Department of Applied Economics, University Of The Balearic Islands)
[protected email address] (Department of Applied Economics, University Of The Balearic Islands)
 
Abstract:

Religious beliefs influence many aspects of peoples’ daily lives, so it is plausible to argue that religion affects some of humanity’s most central endeavors, such as trade, migration, foreign investment and tourism. This paper investigates the role a country’s religious affiliation plays in destination choice for international tourism. To that end, a gravity model for international tourist arrivals is estimated by using a dataset of 164 countries for the period 1995-2010. Results provide evidence that religious similarity has significant explanatory power in global tourism flows even after controlling for other measures of cultural affinity. Moreover, the presence of common religious minorities in the country has a positive impact on tourism flows. However, although religious pluralism foster tourism flows between countries, religious similarity has a stronger positive effect.

 
JEL Classification:

A13, L83, Z12

Keywords:

religion, tourism demand, gravity model

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