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Motivation for domestic tourism : a case study of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

By Naima Bakor Bogari


In Saudi Arabia there is a growing amount of leisure time and a high percentage of\ud disposable income is being spent on various forms of tourism; such trends have\ud increased the number of Saudis travelling to tourist destinations, internationally or\ud domestically. Spending the annual holiday away from Saudi is normal for most Saudi\ud families and it is estimated that the total expenditure on domestic tourism in Saudi\ud Arabia is only 16.7% of total tourism expenditure. International expenditure was\ud estimated (in 1995) to be US$ 7.6 million US$ and this increased to more than US$\ud 8.2 million in 1997 which is about 17.3% of total oil revenue estimated in 1998 and\ud nearly 5.6% of the Saudi gross domestic product. Consequently, foreign tourism is a\ud substantial drain on the current account, so the government has been trying to\ud persuade more of its citizens to holiday at home. This situation will require tourism\ud marketer to understand fully the need of tourists. Under increasingly competitive\ud conditions, effective tourism marketing is impossible with out an understanding of\ud tourists' motivation to choose a Saudi travel destination.\ud \ud \ud The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the status of domestic tourism\ud motivation. The research took place in Saudi Arabia, concentrating on the motivation\ud 'push' and 'pull' factors of tourist behaviour towards domestic tourism in an Islamic\ud and Arabic culture.\ud \ud \ud Data were collected by means of a questionnaire using a 5-point Likert-scale. Out of\ud 1400 questionnaires distributed, in two tourism cities Jeddah and Abha, 505 usable\ud questionnaires were verified and prepared for the final analysis. In view of the\ud intensive and extensive data and interdependent relationships between variables, the\ud statistical techniques used in this research include reliability analysis, frequencies,\ud cross tabulation, mean, standard deviation, chi-square, factor analysis, Pearson\ud correlation, multiple regression and one-way ANOVA.\ud \ud \ud The results of the analysis of push motivation indicates nine factors: (Fl) cultural\ud value factor; (F2) utilitarian factor; (F3) knowledge factor; (F4) social factor; (F5)\ud economical factor; (F6) family togetherness factor; (F7) interest factor; (F8)\ud relaxation factor; (F9) convenience of facilities factor.\ud \ud The result of the factor loading for pull motivational items presents nine pull factors:\ud (Fl) safety factor; (F2) activity factor; (F3) beach sports/activities factor; (F4)\ud nature/outdoor factor; (F5) historical/cultural factor; (F6) religious factor; (F7) budget\ud factor; (F8) leisure factor; (F9) upscale factor. This study found that the most\ud important push and pull factors as perceived by Saudi tourists are 'cultural value' and\ud 'religious'.\ud \ud \ud The major findings of the study were that the push factors positively and strongly\ud related to pull factors. Also, the study found that no significant correlation existed\ud between push and pull motivation items and the social demographic variables,\ud educational level, income level and age. The only significant correlation was found\ud between pull motivation items and the gender.\ud \ud \ud In the case of the push factors the test found that there is no significant correlation\ud between push motivation factors and the educational level, with one exception, a\ud significant correlation between social factor and the educational level in Abha. The\ud study found that there are significant correlations between the economical push\ud motivation factor and the income level, while the remaining eight factors are not\ud significantly correlated with the income level in Jeddah. Also, there is a significant\ud correlation between the knowledge factor and the income level in Abha.\ud \ud \ud The results indicate that there is significant correlation between push motivation\ud factors and age as follow: cultural value factor and age in Jeddah, interest factor and\ud age in Abha and social factor and age in Abha.\ud \ud \ud The study found that there is significant correlation between push motivation factors\ud and the gender. A significant correlation is found between the interest factor, social\ud factor and the gender in Jeddah. In addition, a significant correlation is found between\ud the interests, the cultural value, the utilitarian factors and the gender in Abha.\ud \ud \ud Relating to pull factors, the results indicate that there is no significance correlation\ud between pull motivation factors and the educational level with the exception of a\ud significant correlation between the upscale factor and the educational level in Jeddah,\ud and a significant correlation between the activity factor and the educational level in\ud Abha. A significance correlation exists between the upscale factor and the income\ud level in both Jeddah and Abha.\ud \ud There is no significant correlation between pull motivation factors and age in Jeddah.\ud However, there is significant correlation between the activity factor, the beach sports\ud activities factor, the upscale factor and age in Abha. There is no significance\ud correlation between pull motivation factors and gender in Jeddah, except the activity\ud factor. In Abha there is significant correlation between the nature/outdoor factor, the\ud activity factor, the safety factor and gender.\ud \ud \ud The results indicate that educational and income level have no significant correlation\ud with the kind of accommodation, while tourist age and the length of tourist stay have\ud significant and strong correlation with the kind of accommodation. In respect of the\ud family number and the kind of accommodation the result shows that there is a\ud significant correlation between the kind of accommodation and the number of adults\ud and number of children under 11 years group. The study indicates that there is no\ud correlation between the kind of accommodation and the number of children in the 11-\ud 16 years group.\ud \ud \ud The complex interdependent relationships mean that providers of tourist facilities\ud have to have a deep understanding of the motivation of potential markets to provide\ud the required facilities and activities

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