Exploring the restorative benefits of spiritual retreats: The case of clergy retreats in Australia

Chelsea Gill, Jan Packer, Roy Ballantyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
478 Downloads (Pure)


Despite being one of the oldest forms of tourism, religious tourism is a growing and increasingly diverse sector. Spiritual retreat tourism is one type of religious tourism that has been found to have a range of benefits for participants, particularly in relation to restorative benefits such as rest and recovery of cognitive capacity. This mixed-methods study applies Attention Restoration Theory to explore the ways in which participants of spiritual retreats attain restorative outcomes, and to investigate whether different types of retreats result in different benefits. The analysis of data from 152 clergy who participated in spiritual retreats in Australia demonstrated that restoration was a key outcome, amongst other benefits. The practical implications of the findings for both organisers and attendees of spiritual retreats are discussed, and a research agenda for future exploration of the value of retreats is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number2
Early online date11 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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