Tourism stakeholder perspectives on the Saudi Seasons and opportunities to further develop international tourism

Author: Sultan Fuod Almohmmad

Almohmmad, Sultan Fuod, 2021 Tourism stakeholder perspectives on the Saudi Seasons and opportunities to further develop international tourism, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Saudi Arabia is a country that has a rich history and heritage, and although primarily known for its religious tourism, the country has now embarked on a new journey to build new forms of tourism. Saudi Arabia has ambitions to become one of the leading international tourist destinations by 2030. For this reason, the state has taken a number of important steps, including the launch of E-visas and the hosting of the ‘Saudi Seasons 2019’. The Saudi Seasons were held in many parts of Saudi Arabia with an aim to increase tourism in Saudi Arabia and to help promote regional cultural and natural heritage attractions to wider audiences. This study explores how successful the Saudi Seasons strategy has been so far and how it may be improved in the future. To do so, this research relies on qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews of tourism stakeholders from 3 locations: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al-Ula. The findings of the study suggest that the Saudi Seasons have been successful in creating employment opportunities, an increase in business activity, and in supporting economic stability. However, it was also observed that the Saudi Seasons initiative could be improved through increasing the duration of the events and via the provision of better facilities for tourists. The respondents also shared their views on how Saudi Arabia could attract greater numbers of international tourists in the future, and it was proposed that new marketing strategies should help showcase its climate diversity and rich cultural heritage that remain widely unknown to international tourist markets.

Keywords: Tourism in KSA, Saudi Seasons, Saudi Arabia

Subject: Tourism thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Gareth Butler