Challenges and Prospects of Religious Tourism Development in Gishen Debre Kerbe Mariam, North Central Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this research is to assess the challenges and prospects of religious tourism development in Gishen Debre Kerbe Mariam. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaire, direct/participant observation, semi structured interview, informal discussion and managing second01Y data. Categorical, explanatory and descriptive methods of qualitative data analysis techniques were employed for data interpretation. Eleven resources were identified as potential attraction for religious tourism development in Gishen. Except museum which was under construction, resources such as landscape and scenery, religious festival, church buildings, history of Gishen Mariam, holy water, cave of king Lalibela, and Natural cave were being utilized and rated as attractive resources for majority of respondents. Poor pelformance of marketing, poor inji'astructural development especially road, illegal settlement, Environmental pollutions and begging, and unsuitable institutional structure were identified as challenges to religious tourism development in Gishen Mariam. Despite these challenges, an increase trend of domestic religious tourist arrival by 11.8% for the last four years was registered in Gishen Mariam. This has contributed to an increase in contribution of job creation and government revenue. This in turn has resulted in positive attitude of local residents. Moreover, its geographic location in the northern historical route is an opportunity for boosting religious tourism. Gishen Debre Kerbe Mariam has huge religious tourism potential and prospects despite challenges. Illegal settlers need to leave away jrom Gishen in order to make Gishen a monastely. Furthermore, road construction and tourist facility developments need to be implemented in cooperation with volunteers and church. Key Words: Development, Gishen, Religious, Tourism,



Development, Gishen, Religious, Tourism