The Monasteries of Putuoshan, China: Sites of Secular or Religious Tourism?

Cora Un In Wong, Chris Ryan, Alison McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The article reports an analysis derived from a sample of 640 respondents visiting the Buddhist site of Putuoshan that is sacred to the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokitesvara. Drawing on literature and observation over a 12-month period, the article adopts a fourfold designation of visitors: Xiankes, Sushi, Sightseers, and Cultural/Heritage Visitors. Three scales are developed and exploratory factor analysis supports distinctions between the clusters with reference to motives, activities and beliefs, and the categorization is supported by logistic regression analysis. The findings are discussed in the context of destination management with reference to two considerations-namely: (a) sites of religious importance often possess secular as well as religious significance; and (b) the numbers of tourists appear to be growing, thereby raising concerns of future negative tourism impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-594
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Buddhism
  • China
  • Religious tourism


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