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Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0002-6615-0824

Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore a holistic approach to assessing the level of development of a pilgrimage route using a model proposed by Ambrosio et al. (2019). In accordance with this model, a diagnosis matrix structures the surveying of predefined variables and enables the evaluation of pilgrimage routes. This tool allows an understanding of both, material and immaterial elements that comprise part of pilgrimage experiences, and of the respective routes as tourism products. The study takes as reference two Municipalities along the Portuguese Way to Santiago—one in the South, Vila Franca de Xira, and another in the North, Viana do Castelo.

In our primary research, the criteria of the conceptual model were interpreted along a three-stage assessment methodology based on the diagnosis matrix to test the conceptual model—the physical structure of the route itself, the supporting services, and the availability and quality of the attractions. A visual methodology through photo elicitation was used to register data and generate discussion amongst stakeholders. Findings suggest that the same type of resources are being handled differently in the crossed municipalities, demonstrating a lack of coordinated development. Additionally, a general lack of knowledge of emerging consumer trends may be impeding innovations by businesses, raising doubt about the readiness of the pilgrimage route for the post-pandemic pilgrim.

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.

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