Tourism SME Stakeholder Perspectives on the Inaugural ‘Saudi Seasons’: An Exploratory Study of Emerging Opportunities and Challenges

Sultan Al-Mohmmad, Gareth Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose – This exploratory study aims to determine tourism SME stakeholders’ perceptions of the performance of the first “Saudi Seasons” initiative 2019/20 developed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative study draws on an interpretivist paradigm that explores participants’ views and experiences through immersive, semi-structured interviews. A total of 30 participants were interviewed in three locations: Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-‘Ula. Athematic analysis was then conducted and the emerging themes were presented as key findings. Findings – The Seasons have been successful in increasing business activity and changing the negative perception of Saudi Arabia among international tourists. However, it was also noted that the Seasons have put pressure on local tourism infrastructure, whilst other stakeholders raised concerns regarding the inadequate promotion of heritage sites and ineffective stakeholder engagement.

Originality/value – This exploratory study offers novel stakeholder insights into the performance of the inaugural Saudi Seasons initiative and underscores the important need for SMEs to be more effectively involved in contemporary tourism development discourse in Saudi Arabia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-687
Number of pages19
JournalTourism and Hospitality Management
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Tourism stakeholder
  • Tourism development
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises
  • Saudi Seasons
  • Saudi Arabia

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