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Santiago pilgrim blogs being scrutinized


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Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Pilgrims' blogs are being increasingly used for research purposes. In a recent (2008) research for a paper entitled: ‘El Camino’ – How mass tourism affects the visitor experiences of religiously motivated pilgrims on the Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela' primary research was conducted in form of an analysis of 15 German and English-speaking internet blogs of pilgrims and of pilgrimage associations, where travel experiences on the Camino are described.
The conclusion of the paper was that:
"Mass tourism has taken over Santiago de Compostela long ago. But now it is also reaching the Camino, the last remaining haven of the pilgrims. It should not be an aim to discourage people to do the walk but visitors should be educated about the meaning and the hardship of this task. Already today, pilgrims who really do the walk to find a spiritual and religious experience are advised to travel out of season and along the not so popular routes. One of the main goals must be to remain the simplicity of the Camino, of the accommodation and catering because this is what makes up the special travel experience – the liminality – of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

In a similar vein, a recent religious blog post claims that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the largest Roman Catholic shrine in the world, with some 20 million pilgrims per annum.
For reasons of comparison, the shrine in Lourdes receives 6 million pilgrims a year, Fatima 2 million, Altötting 1.5 million, and Santiago de Compostela 12 million.
The blogger claims that, "the Santiago figures obviously have to be scrutinized carefully, as the recent popularity of walking to Santiago for reasons of lifestyle and trend is definitely distorting the figure of actual pilgrims (whilst) Our Lady of Guadalupe’s growth does not come from detailed marketing strategies or heavy advertisement. It is rather an increase in the thirst for God and for devotion - and of course increased mobility of the faithful - that accounts for the huge number of pilgrims coming to Mexico each year on a journey of faith."

What an incredible resource a good researcher has with literally thousands of camino related blogs on the Internet.

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