Sacred travel, or metaphysical tourism, spiritualized travel, is a growing niche of the travel market. It attracts New Age believers and involves tours and travel to "spiritual hotspots" on the Earth.
Destinations are often ancient sites where there is a mystery concerning their origin or purpose, such as Machu Picchu in Peru, The Pyramids of Egypt, or Stonehenge in England. Some Christian sites such as the locations of the Black Madonnas and the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland are also popular.
These travelers see the journey as more than just tourism and take the trips in order to heal themselves and the world. Part of this may involve rituals involving (supposedly) leaving their bodies, possession by spirits (channelling), and recovery of past life memories. The travel is considered by many scholars as transcendental, a life learning process or even a self-realization metaphor.
- Todras-Whitehill, Ethan (2007-04-29). "Touring the Spirit World". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- Rountree, Kathryn. "Goddess pilgrims as tourists: Inscribing the body through sacred travel". Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Oberholtzer, Heidi. "Pilgrimage in literature of the Americas: Spiritualized travel and sacred place". Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- "Touring the Spirit World" (The New York Times, April 29, 2007)
- "Touring the Spirit World" extra anecdotes and photos from the writer