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Abstract

Over the last two decades, an exponential rise has been observed in the growth of spiritual tourism where travellers are preferring and visiting places of religious inclination seeking to align their body and mind. In the current fast paced life where stress, anxiety, insecurities and depression have become common place, travelling to certain places that provide connection with the almighty or peace to the traveller has become very important. Spiritual tourism in India has always been very highly valued and is active as an industry in a country known as the land of temples and gods. Many globally popular destinations exist in India that attract both domestic and international travellers alike. Destinations like Puri Jagannath, Kedarnath, Amarnath Yatra, Rishikesh, Varanasi, and Haridwar have developed their image and branding power over the years for the peace and meditating impact they have on their tourists. This trend has also been enhanced by the overall image of India as a country for religious and spiritual tourism where lakhs of international tourist come for relaxation and peace.

The transformation of social media platforms has had an important and significant impact on the destination branding of spiritual locations and the final decision making of travellers. As travellers are active on social media platforms in sharing their stories of travel, sharing posts and videos, highlighting their travel, they are sharing their experiences with a large community. Thus, social media impacts on decision making for spiritual destinations needs to be studied in depth to understand the underlying factors that impact the final decision. For the purpose of this paper, various variables are analysed through the SEM framework to determine their interdependency and how they influence the final decision of the tourist. The study is important for academics in tourism as it discusses the most relevant examples and key factors. The study is also meaningful to practitioners of tourism who can ensure that the correct social media marketing can be undertaken for attracting tourists to spiritual destinations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21427/1SCQ-MC52

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