GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Shopping, Tourism and Heritage in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Evidence from female domestic tourists
Paper Proposal Text :
Tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has gained increasing importance in recent years. Moreover, in Saudi Arabia there are increasing opportunities for free time, and a high percentage of disposable income is being spent on various forms of leisure and tourism such as shopping. This has increased the number of Saudi women travelling to both international and domestic tourism destinations. One of the most important areas, the Jeddah Governorate, has been able to develop an attractive tourist base, benefiting from a sound infrastructure and a relatively more relaxed atmosphere. The purpose of this study was to investigate female Saudi domestic tourists’ shopping experiences in the Al-Balad (old down town) area of Jeddah. The research used a qualitative approach, primarily focus groups which were structured into six groups of Saudi women each of approximately six individuals according to age. Each focus group was contacted two times, once before their visit, and once at the end of their visit, to obtain data about both their perceptions and their actual tourism experiences. All focus group information was recorded, transcribed and analyzed using methods of textual analysis. Saudi women argued that the major reasons for going downtown were to refresh their memories of the place and they prioritized heritage, folklore and the availability of rare items that cannot be found in other places. This is conceptualised in relation to other non-western accounts of memory and heritage.