Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Finance
Exploring the local community perceptions of socio-cultural event tourism impacts:A case of attendees to the Salalah Tourism Festival, Salalah city, Oman
This research aims to explore the local community of Salalah (a popular tourist city south of Oman) perceptions of the socio-cultural impacts of the Salalah Tourism Festival, which is a famous festival within the Arab Gulf region (GCC). This research is expected to contribute to current literature by identifying the perceptions of a new developing country community towards event tourism socio-cultural impacts, developing a new measurement scale, investigating if there is a link between residents perceptions of the festival and religion (i.e. Islam), and identifying if the interaction between the local community and the festival tourists who share similar culture would have a major or minor effect on how they perceive the festival’s socio-cultural impacts. An exploratory sequential mixed method approach is followed, utilizing both semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Initial results show that local residents of Salalah in general, had a more negative perception of the festival’s socio-cultural impacts, where the negative perceptions were based mainly on tangible socio-cultural impacts and the less positive perceptions were formed mostly from intangible socio-cultural impacts. Moreover, religion (i.e. Islam) showed a strong influence on residents’ perceptions of some socio-cultural impacts of the festival.
Keywords: Mixed methods; Islam; measurement scale; developing country; GCC tourist.