Potential and Opportunities for the Development of Religious Tourism in Western Crete, Greece


  • John Vourdoubas Consultant Engineer, 107B, El. Venizelou str.,73132, Chania, Greece
  • Antonios Kalogerakis Orthodox Academy of Crete, Kolimpari 73006, Greece
  • Konstantinos Zormpas Orthodox Academy of Crete, Kolimpari 73006, Greece


Crete-Greece, culture, ecology, monuments, Orthodox Christians, religion, tourism


The tourism industry is a flourishing global industry with an increasing number of people travelling each year all over the world. Religion used to be since ancient times a motivation for people to travel, visit and pray in holy places and sites. Religion tourism is also growing nowadays while many people visit holy and sacred places for pilgrimage or for seeing religious monuments which are important for their faith. The island of Crete is a famous tourism destination in eastern Mediterranean basin with mild climate, plenty of sunshine, sandy beaches and many natural attractions visited by more than five million of tourists every year. Crete has also many religious, cultural and historical monuments established during the past twenty centuries from different civilizations which are attractive to visitors. The possibility of developing religious tourism in western Crete has been investigated and its impacts on the local stakeholders have been identified. The existing infrastructure in the island favors the development of religious tourism while the local policies support it. The Orthodox Christianity recognizes the links between religion, society and ecology and the development of religious tourism should be combined with ecological sensitization and/or social activities. The implemented SWOT and PESTEL analyses indicated that the potential for the development of religious tourism in western Crete is high resulting to many socio-economic benefits to local stakeholders. The tourism product of the island, which is currently focused on the “sea and sun tourism”, will be differentiated and enriched with the development of cultural tourism. Our results could be useful to policy makers and to local stakeholders who wish to promote the religious tourism with simultaneous promotion of environmental sustainability in the island. 


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How to Cite

John Vourdoubas, Antonios Kalogerakis, & Konstantinos Zormpas. (2024). Potential and Opportunities for the Development of Religious Tourism in Western Crete, Greece. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 97(1), 132–149. Retrieved from https://asrjetsjournal.org/index.php/American_Scientific_Journal/article/view/9973