Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has announced an international conference on Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism.
The conference, which will take place on 9 March 2018 in Waterford Institute of Technology, comes on foot of a massive revival of pilgrimage in Ireland and internationally. In 2016, over 275,000 people walked some or all of the Camino de Santiago, up from 100,000 in 2006.
The event will be run in partnership with Spirituality Institute for Research and Education in Dublin (SpIRE) and the conference website is www.spireconf.com.
The Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism conference is the brainchild of Dr Bernadette Flanagan, Chair of SpIRE, and Programme Leadership team member, MA Applied Spirituality at WIT.
“This conference situates the popular revival of Irish pilgrim paths in an international context, providing an opportunity to discuss the potential for Ireland as a sustainable spiritual tourism destination,” Dr Bernadette Flanagan said.
Speakers at the conference include:
Dr Dee Dyas of York University’s Centre for Pilgrimage Studies;
Dr Stefano Dominioni from Luxembourg, Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.
John G O’Dwyer, Chairperson of Pilgrims Path Ireland, and author of Pilgrim Paths in Ireland: From Slieve Mish to Skellig Michael.
There will also be parallel panels of short papers as well as posters and stands.
According to Ray Cullen, Head of the Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality at WIT, the south-east of Ireland has great resources for spiritual tourism, a rapidly expanding segment in the overall tourism market.
“For the first time ever, an international conference on the potential of Spiritual Tourism for the South East will be hosted by WIT, with special attention to pilgrimage and pilgrim routes.
“This conference will be of interest to local hospitality businesses and individuals and organisations with spiritual tourism interests, including tourism officers and tour operators.
“We would also welcome those who wish to integrate pilgrimage into their existing tourism and hospitality curriculum.
“This promises to be an exciting, cutting-edge occasion, with input from Irish and international scholars of pilgrimage and spiritual tourism.”
Dr Michael O’Sullivan Programme Leader, MA in Applied Spirituality, and Director of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE) commented further.
“There is a flourishing interest in the academic study of Spirituality. In 2017 the first cohort of the MA in Applied Spirituality graduated from WIT, and one with a PhD,” Dr O’Sullivan said.
Conference details and booking at www.spireconf.com.