Faith-based travel or spiritual tourism has become one of the fastest growing leisure travel segments, with more than 300 million tourists visiting the world’s major religious sites each year. Faith travel both enriches one’s faith and strengthens spiritual beliefs on a personal level.
People of all faiths, including some 700,000 Americans, annually visit the Holy Land. Experiencing Nazareth, Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Fields, the River Jordan, the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem adds clarity and context for Christians studying the life of Jesus.
Greece, Turkey, Italy and several other European countries attract countless spiritual travelers to religious sites. Germany, for example, continues to be the focal point for millions of Protestants celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. At the same time, Faith travel can be as simple as a group of people, who share the same interests and values, traveling together regardless of the destination.
Couples, families and groups have countless tour and travel options today, including many opportunities for independent faith travel. First-time visitors to the Holy Land should consider group travel and itineraries that include local guides. Just be sure that the itinerary includes plenty of leisure time to make it a vacation, as well as a journey of faith.