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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Ghada Talat Alhothali, Felix Mavondo and Islam Elgammal

In recent days, there has been an increasing interest towards achieving sustainable tourism objectives globally and specifically in Saudi Arabia. The benefits can be…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent days, there has been an increasing interest towards achieving sustainable tourism objectives globally and specifically in Saudi Arabia. The benefits can be maximized if the government is successful in attracting current pilgrims and influence their future intention to revisit the country as tourists. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to measure pilgrims’ revisit intentions to understand more about the possibility of their potential contribution towards the Saudi tourism and hospitality industry in the evolving circumstances.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses configuration theory to identify the “ideal” type of the pilgrims and compares this to the rest to establish if they differ and if that difference matters. Data were collected from 278 visitors to the Holy Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to perform Umrah.

Findings

The findings show that a large deviation from the “ideal pilgrim” is negatively related to revisiting intentions and dissemination of positive word of mouth (PWOM).

Research limitations/implications

The development of profiles gives a better understanding of organizations or people across several dimensions looked at holistically. Fundamental to the theory is that there are only a limited number of configurations that achieve optimal performance (however defined).

Originality/value

The analytical approach adopted in this paper leads to achieving verbal and statistical correspondence in tests of “gestalts”. The interest is in establishing whether this difference matters to intentions to revisit and providing PWOM.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 January 2022

Islam Elgammal, Ghada Talat Alhothali and Annarita Sorrentino

Umrah is a religious ritual that takes place inside the Holy Mosque in Makkah. Umrah can be performed any time during the year; however, performing Umrah in the month of…

Abstract

Purpose

Umrah is a religious ritual that takes place inside the Holy Mosque in Makkah. Umrah can be performed any time during the year; however, performing Umrah in the month of Ramadan is much rewarded. Although the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting this event each year, studies that focus on exploring the Holy Mosque visitor segments are scarce. This study aims to explore and describe the marketing segments of Umrah performers relative to their Umrah experience inside the Holy Mosque of Makkah. Most specifically, this study aims to explore segments of Umrah performers based on their perception of servicescape, hedonic and convenience value and the visitors’ outcome behaviors [i.e. intention to revisit and positive word of mouth (PWOM)].

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed-method techniques of data collection [i.e. self-administered questionnaires (n = 278) and short discussions (n = 10)] were used.

Findings

Cluster analysis is used for data analysis. The findings revealed four clusters of Umrah performers: real, occasional, rational and passionate performers.

Research limitations/implications

This study is a first attempt to target pilgrims based on their experience with the servicescape during the organized religious event; despite its exploratory nature, it reveals interesting insights that will be useful for managers and scholars. Although the study helps to enrich the existing knowledge on visitors’ experience and proposes some implications for practitioners, it does have some limitations. First, convenience sampling was used, and hence the findings cannot be generalized. Second, the limited period of observation did not allow the authors to provide a complete picture of the pilgrims’ behavior; for this reason, the study findings partially describe the phenomenon. Another limitation is related to the difficulty of approaching respondents from Asia or South East Asia although they constitute a significant percentage of the total Umrah performers every year; this is because of the language barrier as data was collected from only English and Arabic speakers. Hence, to overcome these limitations, it is suggested that future studies could be expanded to target Asian respondents and perhaps other nationalities; and could be undertaken in other religious contexts. Moreover, an interesting future study could be carried out to compare the same model during other religious events. Added to that, another growing area of research could be approached by researchers, such as the impact of pilgrims sharing their experiences on influencing E-PWOM.

Practical implications

The findings reveal several implications for policymakers and stakeholders. The segmentation of Umrah performers assists destination managers, policymakers and local firms involved in managing this mass event to identify effective marketing decision-makers, business strategies and policymakers to satisfy the needs of these visitors (Disegna et al., 2011). Particularly, the identification of the key characteristics of these visitors can help destination marketers to develop a marketing mix that suits the needs of each cluster (Smith et al., 2014). Despite that the performers’ main motivation is the religious purpose, marketing strategists can attract the attention of these visitors to visit other religious, cultural and heritage sites in the country.

Social implications

Encouraging the visit to other tourist spots in Saudi has several impacts on nourishing the economy and the community. Tourism in Saudi could encourage entrepreneurs to start new ventures to satisfy the need of visitors to the country. Small-medium enterprises could benefit from tourism as they could target market niches in which leader companies are not serving. For instance, hand-made souvenirs are one of these industries that could grow to satisfy the need of visitors.

Originality/value

The results contribute to the literature of event segmentation by identifying visitors’ profiles to rarely investigated destinations. The findings reveal several implications for policymakers and stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Alison Dean and Ghada Talat Alhothali

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate service-for-service benefits emerging from co-creation in everyday banking. It does so by identifying factors that constitute the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate service-for-service benefits emerging from co-creation in everyday banking. It does so by identifying factors that constitute the joint provider/customer co-creation platform, distinguishing them from factors that facilitate customers’ independent value creation; and exploring benefits and potential opportunities for each party.

Design/methodology/approach

Insights were gained by using a qualitative approach involving 33 face-to-face interviews with bank managers (15) and their customers (18) in Saudi Arabia. Content analysis was performed on the data and the two sets of views integrated to compare the reality of service-for-service with theoretical assumptions.

Findings

The analysis identified 65 topics, clustered to 12 themes. Three themes represented joint, collaborative activity (problem solving, relationship building, and knowledge and learning) whilst other themes identified facilitation actions by banks. Key opportunities to increase mutual value (service-for-service) emerge from extending interaction via the co-creation platform but additional benefits from these opportunities are not currently realized by participants. The authors thereby note the potential of a service focus but suggest that the locus of value creation will not readily shift from the provider to a collaborative process of co-creation.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative nature of the study limits generalizability. However, the authors expect that the hierarchy of service-for-service will be meaningful in other contexts. Future research may use it as a starting point for identifying innovations from co-creation, how actors realize and measure service-for-service, and how different business models may strengthen value opportunities.

Practical implications

The findings provide managers with first, three areas of emphasis to gain and extend mutual service-for-service from direct interactions in everyday banking transactions. Second, the study emphasizes resource characteristics that will facilitate value enhancement for firms and customers by recognition of barriers to collaborative actions, and approaches for pursuit of service-for-service.

Originality/value

This study establishes the joint and essential firm/customer co-creation platform in retail banking and distinguishes the platform from other customer value-facilitation actions. The authors integrate the findings with previous literature and present a conceptual framework for levels of service-for-service in exchange. This framework shows a hierarchy of key benefits for providers and customers, and highlights increasing complexities that hinder the reality of achieving service-for-service opportunities arising from the joint co-creation platform.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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