tourism has been understood by international organizations as an activity with great potential to promote economic development, while valuing cultures and promoting the protection of natural landscapes. following international guidelines, tourism in brazil has begun to be understood as an industry with great potential to generate jobs and income and is strengthened through the promotion of cultural diversity which may be associated with material and religious cultures. to understand the management of tourism in contexts that articulate culture, religion and territorial development, this paper identifies limitations in both theoretical concepts available in the literature: the concept of cultural tourism and the concept of religious tourism. it proposes the concept of 'tourism in territories of high religious density' to incorporate acknowledgement of the power dynamics present in the territories as elements that affect the way tourism is planned. the fields of anthropology and geography are used in the management approach to support the theoretical discussion in the paper. this has a great explanatory potential for tourism on different geographical scales, and also in contexts where dialogue between tourism and religions is present.