Santiago de Compostela – Spain (Monday, 09/22/2014, Gaudium Press) On Saturday, September 20, the First International Congress on Tourism and Pilgrimage, held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, ended, counting with participants from several countries, including: Mexico, Italy and Israel. The event aimed to analyze the role of pilgrims as a factor of development for local communities, as well as the motivating factors behind the demand for religious tourism.
|Chatedral of Santiago de Compostela.|
In his message for the World Tourism Day, which is celebrated on the 27th, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CPMI), Cardinal Antonio Maria VEGLIÒ, stressed the importance of tourism for the ‘authentic development’ of the communities.
According to the World Tourism Organization, a UN agency which promotes this Conference in Spain, approximately 330 million people visit annually the most important religious places in the world, among them are the Vatican, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, and Jerusalem.
“Tourism and pilgrimages are increasingly complex human activities and the future depends on the balance between the traditions and needs of entertainers and pilgrims,” argue the Conference organizers.
According to the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, “pilgrimages represent vital opportunities to strengthen the capacity of tourism and to promote intercultural dialogue.” (EPC / AH)