Towards Sustainable Spiritual Tourism at the Egyptian Heritage Sites: Applied To the Red Sea Monasteries

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Helwan University, Egypt


People all over the world are facing many problems, challenges and pressures. Therefore, they need to take spiritual vacations because this helps them to think better, make the right decisions and gain inner peace, happiness, and relaxation. Spiritual tourism can be regarded as a broad, general and comprehensive term compared to religious tourism. Spiritual tourism is not related to a particular religion. It aims to connect body, mind, and spirit together, provide clear purpose and meaning to life, enhance interpersonal relationships and obtain inspiration, entertainment, and learning.Spiritual tourism can be an important tool for cultural exchange; dialogue; mutual understanding; tolerance; respect for local traditions, spiritual values, cultural heritage; acceptance of others and responsible use of natural resources and cultural assets which is considered the basic pillars of sustainability. The aim of the research is to investigate spiritual tourists’ behavior and to explore sustainable spiritual tourism in Egypt: Applied to the Red Sea monasteries in Egypt (The Monastery of St. Anthony and the Monastery of St. Paul) as spiritual tourism sites.In this context, a mixed methodology has been implemented, which includes distributing a questionnaire forms to tourists, in addition to conducting semi-structured interviews with ten experts in tourism and heritage. The results revealed that, spiritual tourism in Egypt has not been adequately marketed; the internet and social media are among the best ways to promote spiritual tourism in Egypt; and spiritual tourism can be a very useful tool in achieving sustainability.