Forget sun and sand — search for your spirit
Monday 08 October 2012
The combined spending of British travellers seeking a religious holiday abroad has topped £2.2bn, new research reveals today.
More than 2.2 million people spent an average of £1,000 on trips seeking spiritual awakening at sites in Israel, India and Malaysia last year.
European religious sites were the most visited with the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in south-west France topping the list of top-10 locations.
Spring from a grotto at the small market town in the foothills of the Pyrenees is believed by some to possess healing properties. It has a population of around 15,000 but is visited by five million pilgrims and tourists a year.
After Paris, Lourdes has the second highest number of hotels per square kilometre in France.
According to the research by Sainsbury's Travel Insurance, 12 per cent of the total number of religious holidays were made by Londoners and 11 per cent by those in Northern Ireland.
"Whether it is a religious pilgrimage, or simply to see a church or site of architectural interest, millions of Britons are taking faith-orientated holidays," said Jo Nola, of Sainsbury's Travel Insurance.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Dylan Moran on quitting smoking, being about as sexy as the Pope and why comedy panel programmes are 'c*ck shows'
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...
£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£55,000 - £65,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accountant with ...