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Business and Management., 5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
Accelerating the shift towards a more sustainable sector are the priorities for the tourism industry (UNWTO, 2015). Therefore, it is against this background, that the United Nations general assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the international year of sustainable tourism for development, with the unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability, while raising awareness of the true dimensions of the sector which is often undervalued (UNWTO, 2015), in which the religious tourism sector is no exception. Nonetheless, within the religious tourism scholarship, the role tourism to religious heritages might play in the sustainable economic development (SED) of regions have been acknowledged by scholars, and other stakeholders (Rizzello & Trono, 2013; Cardenas 2012). Yet, very little substantial documentary evidence to this claim exists on a global scale and in the island of Ireland, where till date, there is no scholarly investigation into the role religious heritages play in the (SED) of regions in which they are located, and in this case, for which they serve as the main source of tourism to the region.
Therefore, in response to this issue, a mixed methodological/ case study approach to enquiry, that investigates stakeholder’s perception on the role the Glendalough monastic site plays in the (SED) of both the Glendalough and Laragh regions was employed. Findings provided evidence of the significant role the site has played in the (SED) of both regions, through government policies and strategies, that are keen to improve the environmental and socio-economic welfare of the local community.
Enongene, V. & Griffin, K. (2016). Religious Heritages as Tools for Sustainable Economic Development: the case of Ireland’s Ecclesiastical settlement Glendalough, Global Management Perspectives, International Annual Conference, Malta, 19-22nd of October, 2016, DOI: 10.21427/D7R171