The Institute for Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage is a truly international organisation which has evolved organically from a number of related activities, undertaken by a group of academics from different countries, with interests in researching religious tourism and pilgrimage in different faiths and religions.
As the various projects of the members developed (primarily our annual conference and the production of a successful international journal), a regular core of participants have taken part in our many activities, and the motivation behind establishing this ‘Institute’, initially under the patronage of the Technological University Dublin and Leeds Beckett University is to formalise the structure under which this work takes place, and to further advance our various activities.

Where we have come from:

The International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage  (IRTP) Group was launched in 2003 by a lively and research active group, most of whom are still involved with the Institute in researching religious tourism and pilgrimage related themes to this day. One of the aims at the outset was ‘to increase the relatively little researched relationship between cultural tourism, spiritual tourism, and religious tourism’, and due to the combined efforts of its participants, the Institute for Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage (IRTP) has been a key international player in expanding the flourishing literature on this ‘little researched’ topic in recent years.

In the past number of years this Group has gone from strength to strength, with forthcoming publications and events adding to our track record of high quality outputs.

Our Journal
A very exciting departure in late 2013 was the involvement of International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage (IRTP) Group members in developing the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage (launched at our Maltese workshop). This online, open access publication platform is already very advanced and over 100 papers have been published (as of Feb. 2018, 100,000 individual paper downloads had occurred). The journal is double-blind reviewed, and the editorial board truly represents an international range of experts. The website for the journal is here: and a facebook page is available here: