The sacred and the profane: Identifying pilgrim traveler value orientations using means-end theory

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the values exhibited by travelers along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. Drawing upon data that were collected en route, pilgrim value systems are identified and explored using the hard laddering method and applying means-end chain (MEC) theory. The researchers examine the hierarchical relationship between pilgrimage attributes, the benefits that pilgrims subsequently acquire and the fulfillment of personal values as ends. The strongest associations are found between attributes, consequences, and values with social bonds that are acquired by socializing with peer pilgrims, followed by the search for happiness through an appreciation of natural beauty and the pursuit of contemplation during the pilgrimage walk. These findings provide novel insights into the profane and sacred dimensions of the pilgrimage experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Attributes
  • Camino de Santiago
  • Consequences
  • Hard laddering
  • Means-end chain (MEC) theory
  • Pilgrim
  • Pilgrimage
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this