A Strategic Networking Approach to Religious Destinations
(Case Study: Atabat in Iraq)
Mohammad Reza Jalilvand
Ph. D in Futures Studies, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
The purpose of this study is to map and analyze strategic business networks operating in a religious destination. This research explores the networks of stakeholders associated with a religious context in an intensive single case study on Al-Atabat Al-Aliyat in Iraq through a qualitative analysis. Multiple methods of data collection were used to build strategic networks promoting religious tourism in the Middle-East region. Key analysis practices include content analysis and social network analysis (SNA). The identified interrelationships between stakeholders were analyzed by using UCINet, a SNA tool. The study reveals three different types of cooperation networks in the case of Al-Atabat Al-Aliyat, namely, a 67-actor continuous network, a 69-actor non-Arbaeen network and an 89-actor Arbaeen network. The results also pinpoint the need for more collaborative activities on the different levels of cooperation in the networks.
Keywords: Religious tourism, Strategic networks, Business network, Network analysis.
Corresponding Author: Mohammad Reza Jalilvand