Progano Ricardo NICOLAS


Name of department

Organization for Research Advancement and Globalization, Center for Tourism Research

Job title

Project Lecturer

Mail Address

E-mail address

Education 【 display / non-display

  • 2016

    Wakayama University   Faculty of Tourism   PhD  

  • 2014

    Wakayama University   Faculty of Tourism   Master degree  

  • 2007

    Del Salvador University   School of Oriental Studies   Bachelor degree  

Degree 【 display / non-display

  • 博士   2019

Academic & Professional Experience 【 display / non-display

  • 2019.04

    Wakayama University   Center for Tourism Research   Lecturer

  • 2018.04

    Wakayama University   Faculty of Tourism   Part-time Lecturer

Association Memberships 【 display / non-display

  • 2016

    Japan Society for Tourism Studies

Research Areas 【 display / non-display

  • Humanities & social sciences / Cultural anthropology and folklore / Asian Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Tourism Studies


Classes 【 display / non-display

  • 2019   Tourism Development and Community (M)   Master's Course

Research Interests 【 display / non-display

  • Pilgrimage, Tourism in Asia, Heritage, Cultural Anthrpology, Cultural Geography, Asian Studies

Published Papers 【 display / non-display

  • Visitor diversification in pilgrimage destinations: comparing national and international visitors through means-end

    Ricardo Nicolas Progano, Kumi Kato, Joseph M. Cheer (Part: Lead author )

    Tourism Geographies     2020.05  [Refereed]

  • Exploring the Japanese DMO registration system: A case from Tanabe city

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas

    観光学   19   29 - 38   2018  [Refereed]

  • Spirituality and tourism in Japanese Pilgrimage Sites: Exploring the intersection through the case of Kumano Kodo

    Ricardo Nicolas Progano, Kumi Kato

    Fieldwork in Religion   13 ( 1 ) 22 - 43   2018  [Refereed]

     View Summary

    © Equinox Publishing Ltd 2018. Contemporary society understands spirituality as an individualized "quest of self-discovery and reflection" that combines eclectic elements, while disregarding traditional religious organizations. This social context has shaped how sacred sites are managed and promoted in tourism, as well as tourist motivation and behaviour. Still, the information on religious and spiritual-related tourism remains Euro-centric, although around half of an estimated 600 million religious and spiritual travels take place in Asia and the Pacific (UNWTO 2011). In order to contribute to studies on the area, the purpose of this article is to explore the intersection of spirituality and tourism in a non-Western pilgrimage site utilizing the three categories of Olsen (2015) to interpret and organize research materials in a coherent format. The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails in Japan were selected as case study. Results showed a variety of Japanese-specific research materials related to contemporary spirituality and tourism that still draw some parallels to the West. Following Olsen's categories, the case study showed mainly elements from spiritual tourism, with some from New Age tourism as well. Wellness was a particularly emphasized characteristic. Further research is suggested to develop Olsen's categorization and to deepen the study of non-Western tourism contexts of contemporary spirituality in different areas.


  • Residents’ Perceptions of Socio-Economic Impacts on Pilgrimage Trails: How does the community perceive pilgrimage tourism?

    Asian Journal of Tourism Research   3 ( 2 ) 148 - 178   2018  [Refereed]

  • Spiritual (walking) tourism as a foundation for sustainable destination development: Kumano-kodo pilgrimage, Wakayama, Japan

    Kumi Kato, Ricardo Nicolas Progano

    TOURISM MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVES ( ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV )  24   243 - 251   2017.10  [Refereed]

     View Summary

    Spiritually motivated travels and specifically pilgrimage, have been an important part of tourism, and today carries a much wider connotation beyond religion including health, wellness and self-improvement. Pilgrims, especially those travelling on foot, have specific interests closely related to sustainability and this mode of travel, which may be defined as slow tourism, helps shape the kinds of tourism services provided by surrounding communities and direct destination planning and development. This is observed in the case of the World Heritage nominated pilgrimage trail, Nakahechi, Kumano in Wakayama, Japan. Referring to the evolving meaning of spirituality and tourism globally and in Japan, the paper explores the significance of today's spiritualities in destination management from local communities' perspectives. This is part of an ongoing study that employs critical and hopeful tourism perspectives as a platform, situating spirituality as a basis for sustainability and advocating slow engagement with local place and its people. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Books etc 【 display / non-display

  • Tourism Development in Japan: Themes, Issues and Challenges

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas, Kato, Kumi( Part: Joint author,  Work: Pilgrimage tourism in regional communities: the case of Tanabe City and Kumano Kodo)

    Routledge  2020.10 

  • Pilgrims: Values And Identities

    Progano Ricardo Nicolas, Kato Kumi( Part: Joint author,  Work: Pilgrimage and Tourism in Japan: Shift in Values and Motivation)

    CABI  2020.10 

Awards & Honors 【 display / non-display

  • MEXT Scholarship for Research Students

    Winner: Ricardo Nicolas Progano

    2013.03   Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology  

Conference Activities & Talks 【 display / non-display

  • Roles of Yamabushi in Shugendo experience programs

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas  [Invited]

    日本宗教学会「宗教とツーリズム研究会」  2020.11.21  

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Japanese temple stays: Koyasan as case study

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas

    ICOT 2020  2020.09.18  

  • Socio-economic impacts of pilgrimage tourism: Discussing the benefits for local communities

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas

    International Conference of Critical Tourism Studies Asia Pacific  2020  

  • Visitor diversification in Japanese pilgrimage routes

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas

    Japan Society for Tourism Studies  2019  

  • Tourism development and regional society in Kumano Kodo (Nakahechi)

    Progano, Ricardo Nicolas, Kato, Kumi

    Association of Japanese Geographers  2018  

display all >>

KAKENHI 【 display / non-display

  • Analysis of tourism guiding in pilgrimage: Model for perception of role of guides


    Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists  Principal investigator