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Exploring the local community perceptions of event tourism socio-cultural impacts: a case of the Salalah Tourism Festival, Salalah city, Oman.

Aideed, H., 2021. Exploring the local community perceptions of event tourism socio-cultural impacts: a case of the Salalah Tourism Festival, Salalah city, Oman. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

Events and festivals are regarded as significant catalytic tools of a destination’s tourism development and marketing endeavours. Salalah, the administrative capital of Dhofar Governorate, located south of Oman, is bestowed with year-round moderate temperatures and a variety of natural beauty attractions. Between June and September, Salalah is subject to the south-west Indian Ocean monsoons. As a result, temperatures average 21℃ in the mountains and 26℃ in the city, where the continuous drizzle turns the area into green lush. As an approach to attract tourists to Salalah during the temperate monsoon period, a local festival named the Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) was founded in 1999 by Dhofar Municipality, staging various events and activities (e.g. entertainment, arts, social, culture exhibitions, sports, galleries, etc.) attracting mainly Omanis and nationals from neighbouring Arab Gulf countries. As the number of festival visitors has been progressively growing, the local community of Salalah started to experience a number of conflicting socio-cultural impacts that evidently increase during the festival's period (e.g. reckless driving, verbal harassment, litter, intrusion of privacy, etc.). Such socio-cultural issues merit further attention to understand their impact on the local community of Salalah. This research aims to address this further by exploring the perceptions of Salalah’s local community towards the STF’s socio-cultural impacts by adopting an exploratory sequential mixed methods methodology. The Social Exchange Theory is utilised to help explain Salalah’s local community perceptions of the STF’s socio-cultural impacts. The main findings of this research show that Salalah's local community is dissatisfied (costs) with the social and tangible impacts that occurred outside the Municipality Entertainment Centre (MEC). On the other hand, they appreciated the benefits that due to the socio-cultural impacts, regardless of whether they were intangible, that existed due to the MEC. All of the chosen six socio-demographic variables applied in this research showed a varied influence on respondents’ perceptions of the STF’s socio-cultural impacts. While Islamic beliefs showed a positive relationship on respondents’ perceptions, the strength of the relationship was weak, indicating a low influence of Islam on Salalah's local community perceptions of the STF’s socio-cultural impacts. The vast majority of the locals admitted that the festival visitors were responsible for most of the delinquent/anti-social behaviour that increases during the festival period. This indicates that low cultural distance (socio-cultural affinity in this research context) between host and guest does not always result in a positive perception as implied by the cultural distance notion.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:36113
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:18 Oct 2021 09:33
Last Modified:18 Oct 2021 09:33

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