When Backpacker Meets Religious Pilgrim House: Interpretation of Oriental Folk Belief
Backpacker travel has become an imperative trend in modern tourism. Previous research, however, has not discussed in-depth the intentions and motivations of accommodation selection, in particular, the religious organization e.g. church, mosque, synagogue, and temple affiliated pilgrim hostel. To fill the gap of previous studies, this study provides a new research direction involving the pilgrim hostel playing an essential role as more than mere pilgrim accommodation; pilgrim hostels in Taiwan have surprisingly included a certain percentage of backpacker tourists. A survey addressed the primary identity and service content perceptions of lodgers. Two historical temple-affiliated pilgrim hostels generated 287 valid responses; 112 backpackers, composing 39 % of the sample units, participated in person. Study findings indicated many significant differences between pilgrims and backpackers regarding self-recognised identity on journeys and perceptions of pilgrim hostel service content (for example, religious identification, reason for lodging, total travel expense, number of nights stayed, customer satisfaction, and service value). Implications of these findings provide suggestions and practical applications for the tourism stakeholder and for future research.
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