4th International Conference on Tourism Management and Hospitality in Vienna

From 1st to 3rd March 2024, the 4th International Conference on Tourism Management and Hospitality, entitled “Learn, meet, engage” was held in Vienna.

It was an opportunity to present the research on “Cultural value in heritage tourism: evidence from Saudi Arabia”.

This research delves into the intricate cultural fabric of heritage tourism in Saudi Arabia, focusing on a comparative analysis between Makkah and Jeddah. The research seeks to unveil the distinct values that underpin tourism in these two historical regions. Employing a qualitative approach, the study reveals a nuanced relationship between heritage and tourism, highlighting the dichotomy between esthetic and religious values.

The research findings underscore the pivotal role of esthetic value in cultural heritage tourism, where visitors are drawn to the tangible and intangible aspects of Jeddah’s historical legacy. The aesthetic appeal of architectural marvels, traditional arts, and local customs significantly influences tourists’ experiences. Furthermore, the study elucidates that cultural tourism in these regions is rooted in an appreciation for the rich historical tapestry, fostering a sense of connection with the past.

In contrast, the research identifies religious tourism in Makkah as a distinct entity, emphasizing the continuity of faith as a central motivating factor. Pilgrims and religious tourists are propelled by a desire to reinforce their spiritual beliefs, making their journey more than a cultural exploration but a reaffirmation of faith.

This research sheds light on the parallel existence of a plural dimension of values within the heritage tourism landscape of Makkah and Jeddah, offering valuable insights for policymakers, tourism professionals, and scholars seeking to understand the multifaceted dynamics of heritage tourism in Saudi Arabia.

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