Impacts of Pilgrimage Tourism: The case of Gishen Debre Kerbe Mariam
The main objective of this study is to assess socio-economic impacts of pilgrimage tourism in Gishen Debre Kerbe Mariam and its vicinity. This study used qualitative approach to explore the objectives of the study, because this method is imperative to assess the impacts of pilgrimage tourism by employing key informants interview, group discussion and deep personal observation. The target populations in the study were the religious leaders and residences in Gishen Debre kerbe, South Wollo Zone and Ambasel district tourism experts, south Wollo zone dioceses leaders. The researcher interviewed 46 informants based on their experience, interest, proximity, knowledge, duties and responsibilities in their respective institutions. The numbers of respondents was determined based on the level of data saturation. To get detailed pictures of the impacts of pilgrimage tourism on the study area, thematic analysis has been employed. As the finding revealed, religious associations, local community and churches in Geshen Debre Kerbe and churches located in Dessie town were the main beneficiary of pilgrimage tourism of Gishen Debre Kerbe. Pilgrims who came to Gishen are interwoven each other and through pilgrimage social solidarity is clearly observable. Seasonality, increment of living cost and exacerbation of beggar are among the adverse impacts of pilgrimage tourism in the study area.