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CABI Book Chapter

Religious tourism and the environment.

Book cover for Religious tourism and the environment.


The purpose of this book is to examine the interrelationships between religion, tourism, and the environment. The 12 chapters included in this volume elaborate on some of the core aspects of a proposed theoretical model of the ecosystem of religious tourism that views 'the environment' of pilgrimage as a dynamic process shaped by the activities, forms of control, perceptions, and representations o...


Chapter 5 (Page no: 70)

The Beyul: Sherpa perspectives on landscapes characteristics and tourism development in Khumbu (Everest), Nepal.

This chapter examines local residents' perspectives of Nepal's Khumbu (Mt Everest) region and the role of tourism in shaping residents' perspectives of this sacred landscape. This region is believed to be a sacred beyul, or a hidden valley that acts as a refuge, by local Buddhist Sherpas, and has undergone tremendous environmental, economic, and social changes due to the increased popularity of trekking tourism in the area. This chapter is based on data and information collected during two visits to the study location in 2014. It is reported that Sherpas' emotional and spiritual bonds with the landscape are reinforced through routinized contact with the sacred cultural features and consistent compliance with the rules of conduct. It is argued that Sherpa residents' objective recognition of the sacred landscape is influenced by geographical proximity to sacred sites, age of residents, and their religious backgrounds. Subjective interpretations of sacred landscape are also shaped by a strong awareness of behavioural restrictions, family influence and personal experiences. These strong bonds, however, are under threat as the religious influence of the landscape is diminishing with the shift of people's economic dependency from the land to a consumer culture facilitated by tourism.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) The environmental impacts of religious tourism. Author(s): Shinde, K. A. Ols, D. H.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 23) Pilgrimage, religious tourism, biodiversity, and natural sacred sites. Author(s): Olsen, D. H.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 42) Managing the environment in religious tourism destinations: a conceptual model. Author(s): Shinde, K. A.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 60) Human sanctuaries can be created everywhere: pilgrimage, tourism, and conservation in Vrindavan, India. Author(s): Nash, J.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 83) Religious tourism and environmental conservation in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, World Heritage Site, Nepal. Author(s): Lafortune-Bernard, A. Suwal, R. N. Weise, K. Coningham, R. A. E.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 95) Interreligious dialogue: trees, stones, water, and interfaith ritual experiences in Lebanon. Author(s): Farra-Haddad, N.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 105) Mimicking mountains: Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família and the mountain of Montserrat. Author(s): Garcia-Fuentes, J. M.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 116) Disease- and health-related issues at mass religious gatherings. Author(s): Olsen, D. H.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 133) The natural environment and waste management at the Hajj. Author(s): Qurashi, J.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 144) The effects of natural disasters on religious tourism sites: earthquakes in the spiritual heart of Italy. Author(s): Giovine, M. di Ascione, E.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 162) Religion, the environment, and sacred places: lessons learned and future directions. Author(s): Olsen, D. H. Shinde, K. A.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2020
  • ISBN
  • 9781789241600
  • Record Number
  • 20203439937