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Holiday Destinations: Understanding the Perceptions of Omani Outbound Tourists

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the growing numbers of Islamic tourists from countries such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) zone and Indonesia. This thesis aims to understand Omani outbound pleasure travellers by identifying their travel motivations, the main travel and leisure constraints they experience, and how they overcome these constraints. It also investigates the influence of Islamic teachings on their choice of a pleasure destination and their participation in leisure activities. The main data collection methods involved in-depth interviews (n = 27) (the qualitative phase), and the distribution of a self-completion questionnaire (n = 298) (a quantitative phase) to both actual travellers and non-travellers. A mixed method approach allowed further insight into the research phenomenon as well as enhancing the trustworthiness of the research findings. Content analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data using CatPac (CATegory PACkage) and Leximancer software, while the quantitative data were analysed by utilising analysis techniques including T-tests, ANOVA, factor analysis, cluster analysis, regression, and MANOVA in SPSS. The study identifies: (a) the most important push and pull travel motivations for Omani outbound tourists; (b) the main travel and leisure constraints that inhibit Omanis from travelling overseas and participating in leisure activities; and, (c) the most frequent travel and leisure negotiation strategies that are adopted to overcome these constraints. The results of the study also determine the influence of socio-demographic variables (gender, marital status, age, educational level, income, and occupation) on Omani tourists' perceptions and behaviours. In terms of the impact of Islamic teachings, this study finds that the Islamic teachings have an indirect influence on the choice of a pleasure travel destination and a direct influence on participation in leisure activities. In relation to market segmentation, the study finds that it is possible to segment Omani outbound tourists based on their travel motivations. Further, this study suggests that participation, or nonparticipation, in overseas travel is an outcome of the joint action of travel motivations and constraints. Other useful findings relate to the three-dimensional leisure constraints model as well as the influence of travel motivations and constraints on the use of negotiation strategies are reported. The current study provides information that will aid the travel and leisure industry in targeting the Muslim travel market to formulate effective marketing strategies and develop appropriate product plans. Finally, both the managerial implications of the study’s results, and possible future research directions, are discussed.
Type of thesis
Alsawafi, A. M. (2013). Holiday Destinations: Understanding the Perceptions of Omani Outbound Tourists (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7980
University of Waikato
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