Analysing Accessible Tourism in Religious Destinations: The Case of Lourdes, France

Accessible tourism and religious tourism are normally treated separately. Even so, curative shrines can be defined as places where these two types of tourism are especially co-habitual. Behaviour of both religious tourists (Battour, Battor, & Bhatti, 2013; Nolan & Nolan, 1992; Rinschede, 1992) and of people with special access needs (Burnett & Baker, 2001; Figueiredo, Eusébio, & Kastenholz, 2012) has been analysed before. However, the behaviour of visitors with special access needs in religious sites has not been analysed yet. This study aims at exploring whether there are differences in motivations and perceived value of tourists with special access needs and those without at these destinations. Findings suggest: (1) there is significant difference in the perception of religious sites and hospitality services between the two groups of the sample; (2) the dimensions of the perceived value are structured differently; (3) there are significant differences in motivations, mostly related to the self, between the two groups; (4) the dimensions of the motivations have different structures between the two groups. Both managerial and theoretical implications are discussed ​
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