PILGRIMAGE TOURISM FOR RURAL COMMUNITY REVITALISATION IN WALES
We found that local stakeholders believe pilgrimage tourism can contribute to rural economies and cultural/heritage revitalisation including the Welsh language. Some stakeholders emphasised that tourism and hospitality businesses related to pilgrimages can help with regeneration of some of marginalised and rural communities in Wales. Pilgrimage tourism can help revitalise cultural heritage and language; and diversify livelihoods and income sources in rural communities. The main challenges of pilgrimage tourism include the lack of attention and funding, poor infrastructure and a lack of awareness and support from the authorities and local communities. As rural communities in Wales do not have sufficient and diversified income sources, pilgrimage tourism can help revitalise cultural heritage and diversify livelihoods. We suggest that there is a need for collaborative work and partnership among stakeholders and policy makers to optimise the potential benefits of pilgrimage tourism development in rural Wales. The presentation will include comprehensive recommendations focusing on how to engage with communities, to benefit rural/remote communities’ both economically and culturally.
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