Religious tourism has lately become a very important part of global tourism, the only question is how to develop it to its full potential. In today's world with all its components and the different types and due to specific structural and functional characteristics, religious tourism can integrate within the global tourism, so that its sphere of influence spreads all over the world. In order to achieve this, the resources and tourist attractions need to be managed. There are numerous religious attractions and cultural, historical and natural sites in the town of Sinj, which attract many religious tourists. The problem of religious tourism in Sinj is the lack of sufficient accommodation capacity, lack of connection of religious tourism to cultural tourism and the lack of detail elaborated strategy of development of religious tourism. The reason for the absence of strategies of religious tourism in the town of Sinj is not giving enough importance to it. There is an initial strategy but it remains unfinished and after implementation of the project "The Path to Lady of Sinj" a new strategy is currently in development that will rely on this project, and an essential part of the strategy is also the cooperation of the Tourist Board of Sinj and the Church. 

 

The master plan for tourism development in Split-Dalmatia County is intended for all key stakeholders in the tourism sector and related activities, which is why further debate is needed on this topic. The master plan for tourism development in Split-Dalmatia County in the specification and content of the product portfolio of Central Dalmatia, among special interests, includes religious tourism, pilgrimage, and churches. One of the proposals to develop the key tourist attractions in Central Dalmatia, in the areas of Split or Sinj, is the Interpretation center "Churches of Central Dalmatia" which would show long spiritual tradition of central Dalmatia through lectures, workshops and interpretations of religious events and the like. This project will provide a starting point and content for the development of virtual 3D IDcard locations of religious tourism which is quite a new innovation in the world of tourism, and would be promoted as Croatian product. The results of this project will contribute to better quality and greater competitiveness in the global and European market of the tourist attractions in Split-Dalmatia County. 

 

On the other hand, the strategy of development of Sinj for the period from 2015 to 2020 will determined the further guidelines for the overall progress of Sinj community in accordance with the interests of the citizens. Religious tourism is an important dimension of the city, and the history of the town of Sinj is closely associated with the worship of the Virgin Mary. Further development of this branch of tourism is planned through the implementation of the EU project "The Our Lady of Sinj Route - Path to Lady of Sinj", which was implemented.

 

Tourist Board of Sinj recognized the importance and possibilities of religious tourism, but to model religious tourism in a complete integrated product it is necessary for all institutions in the area to collaborate. The carriers of religious tourism in the town of Sinj are the sanctuary, the accommodation facilities, as well as the offer of restaurants and other catering services. The sanctuary attracts many religious people, with the number increasing every year. Shrine of Our Lady of Sinj is considered the greatest shrine of Dalmatia, and every year people come from all parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other parts of Europe. Therefore it is necessary to recognize the potential of religious tourism that Sinj has and develop a more effective promotional strategy of the sanctuary such as the promotional video materials about the town in Zagora. Religious tourism should also be adequately represented and introduced on foreign markets since the arrival of tourists and pilgrims is largely dependent on tourism tour operators in Croatia and abroad. Accommodation providers make the receptive dimension, but the problem is that the city of Sinj has the lack in all forms of accommodation: hotels, apartments, camps and the like, as well as the offer of other catering services. Furthermore, the problem is that plans that state public companies bring to local and regional government, are made in a limited partnership with the county, cities and municipality. More about this.

 

Sinj truly has great potential to become a famous religious destination far better known than now, but needs to build a common system of managing the process of development of religious and cultural tourism and to implement it in the total tourist offer of the town of Sinj, which is not possible without the support not only of the Tourist Board of Sinj and the Shrine, but also with the support of the entire tourism sector in Split-Dalmatia County, in order to improve the religious tourism in Sinj.