Daily Archives: March 10, 2008

The popularity of inspirational religious tours

USA Today has an article about “Inspirational religious tours” about the variety of tours available to people who wish to follow the steps of this or that religious person. Here are some comments about Israel and Jordan that you might find interesting.

Kevin Wright says the volatile political situation in the Middle East can present challenges for religious-themed tour operations. “The perception of violence is always the number one challenge for tour operators and travel providers selling trips to the Holy Land,” he explains. “However, any violence that takes place in the Middle East is typically far removed from the traditional tourist sites. Hence, the biggest challenge for travel companies selling the Holy Land is overcoming the misperceptions of violence in tourist areas.”

Lately, that perception hasn’t slowed visitation to Israel and Jordan—both countries had record numbers of visitors last year. Israel hosted more than half a million Americans in 2007, an all-time high, (according to the country’s tourism commissioner), and Jordan’s Tourism Board said the country’s tourism revenues increased by more than 13% in 2007.

Is they have for millennia, the world’s holy sites continue to exert a powerful draw over the faithful and the curious. These days, with modern transportation and updated standards of travel, it’s getting easier to walk in the footsteps of the holy ones, with much less of that ancient travail.

Read the entire article here.

The tours I direct are study tours, but almost everyone who travels with us finds the tour inspirational. Most of those who travel with us do so in an effort to increase their understanding of the Bible. This view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives is inspirational to a lot of people.

Jerusalem From the Mount of Olives. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.