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Characteristics and Trends of Saudi Tourists in the Kingdom of Bahrain

    Habis Alsamawi Affiliation

Abstract

The data of this study were based on a survey of the Saudi tourist movement in Bahrain, which included 14993 samples. The results of this study indicate that there are significant statistical indications with most of the study variables, while the results showed that there are several motives for the Saudi tourists to visit Bahrain, including shopping (45.8%), leisure and recreation (23.8%), health and relaxation (11.5%). The sample members were influenced by the opinions of newspapers, magazines and advertising publications (45.9%). in addition to the opinion of relatives and friends on the decision to choose Bahrain for their tourist destination. Tourist’s satisfaction showed a high degree with catering services, cafes, shopping, security Stability and Bahraini hospitality, and even their evaluation of tourist satisfaction in general was distinguished by 85.2%, but in return there are some services have created some resentment among tourists such as facilities provided on King Fahd Causeway and Taxi services, car rental, and leisure activities. The most important findings and recommendations of the study are the need to facilitate travel procedures on King Fahd Causeway, with satisfaction (48%) and expand the establishment of recreational activities (68%), and develop the role of exhibitions and events in attracting tourists

How to Cite
Alsamawi, H. (2018). Characteristics and Trends of Saudi Tourists in the Kingdom of Bahrain. International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review, 9(09), 20196-20219. https://doi.org/10.15520/ijcrr/2018/9/09/603
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Introduction:

Tourism has developed rapidly after the Second World War. This is due to the societies’ feeling of security, stability and improvement in the standard of living as well as the emergence of the middle class, which has become able to travel in large numbers on the one hand, and the tremendous development in the field of land transport, sea and air on the other hand; leading to a big increase in the size of the international tourism movement. On the other side, tourism has become a social phenomenon necessary for the purpose of enjoyment and psychological and mental comfort. Tourism also and seeks to achieve a high level of culture through coming into contact with other peoples.

Tourism has become one of the cornerstones of many global economies. Countries are seeking to attract the largest number of tourists. Statistics show that Europe tops the list of the most attractive tourist destinations for 2016 out of the total number of 1235 tourists. The percentage of tourists in Europe was 49.9%, followed by Asia and the Pacific (24.9%), the two Americas (16.1%), while the share of Africa and the Middle East (4.7%, 3.4%, respectively, ( World Tourism Organization, Tourism Indicators, 2018 ).

Regarding the world tourism income, tourists in 2016 spent about 1.22 trillion dollars, distributed as follows: Europe ranked first of world tourism income by 36.7%, Asia and the Pacific ranked second with 30%; The Middle East region ranked the last by 4.7% of the world's income. Although the Middle East is rich in cultural and historical resources, its global contribution is very weak for many reasons. The most important of which are wars, conflicts and instability on the one hand, and the absence of tourist services suitable for the international tourism movement, on the other hand.

For example: about 82.6 Million tourists visited France in 2016, equivalent to 6.9% of the global tourism movement, with an income exceeding 42.6 billion dollars, while about 53.6 million tourists visited the entire Middle East for the same year, with an income of only 56.7 billion dollars ( World Tourism Organization, 2018 ).

The Gulf region is a major consumer of tourism, with its citizens spending more than their country's income from tourism, with the exception of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Statistics of the World Tourism Organization showed that Bahrain's revenues from tourism reached about 1,915 billion dollars in 2014, while its citizens spent $ 864 million. The tourism sector in Bahrain contributes by 6.3% of the GDP in 2017, and is likely to increase in the coming period as a result of the state's interest in developing this sector, in addition to attracting large investments recently estimated at 13 billion dollars, ( Bahrain Economic Development Board, 2018 ).

The Kingdom of Bahrain topped the list of the most attractive countries for Saudi tourists. In 2016, according to the report of the Saudi Statistical Center for Studies and Research of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage (SSC), the percentage of Saudi tourists traveling to Bahrain is about 23% of the total number of Saudi tourists traveling abroad, followed by the United Arab Emirates, by 20% (Saudi Statistical Center for Studies and Research, SSC, 2017)

Statistics also indicate that the number of Saudi tourists and visitors coming to the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2017 amounted to 11.4 million. Saudi Arabia ranked first with a total of 9.9 million, or about 87% of the total tourists and visitors to the Kingdom of Bahrain, followed by the rest of the GCC states with a total number of 1.1 million tourists; while the European countries, America and the rest of the Arab and Asian countries were at lower rates: (Information Authority and e-government, 2018).

Problem of the Study:

Due to the strong relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain, and due to the magnitude of the Saudi tourist movement to the Kingdom of Bahrain, this study was designed to identify the views and trends of Saudi tourists, to identify some social and economic aspects and find the tourists’ satisfaction with their visits. The problem of the study can be crystallized in the following main questions: What are the views and trends of Saudi tourists for tourism in the Kingdom of Bahrain? What is the degree of their satisfaction and their impressions about their visits?

Questions and Hypotheses:

The study presented a number of questions and hypotheses in order to identify the characteristics and regulations of the Saudi tourism movement in Bahrain. These include:

  1. What are the means that encouraged you to visit Bahrain?1. What are the means that encouraged you to visit Bahrain?

  2. What is the main purpose of your visit to Bahrain?2. What is the main purpose of your visit to Bahrain?

  3. What are your places of residence in Bahrain?3. What are your places of residence in Bahrain?

  4. What activities did Saudi tourists do during their visit to Bahrain?4. What activities did Saudi tourists do during their visit to Bahrain?

  5. What is the Saudi tourists’ degree of satisfaction, and what is their assessment of the tourism services provided to them in Bahrain ?5. What is the Saudi tourists’ degree of satisfaction, and what is their assessment of the tourism services provided to them in Bahrain?

Hypotheses can be summarized as follows:

  1. There is a significant statistical relationship between sex variable and the following:1. There is a significant statistical relationship between sex variable and the following:

  1. .1. The number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.1.1. The number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

  1. .2. The number of visits to Bahrain.1.2. The number of visits to Bahrain.

  1. .3. Means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.1.3. Means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

  1. .4. Place of residence in Bahrain.1.4. Place of residence in Bahrain.

  1. .5. The main purpose of visiting Bahrain.1.5. The main purpose of visiting Bahrain.

  2. There is a significant statistical relationship between age variable and the following:2. There is a significant statistical relationship between age variable and the following:

  3. There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation variable and the following:3. There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation variable and the following:

  4. There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and the following:4. There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and the following:

  5. What is the Saudi tourists’ degree of satisfaction, and what is their assessment of the tourism services provided to them in Bahrain? 5. What is the Saudi tourists’ degree of satisfaction, and what is their assessment of the tourism services provided to them in Bahrain?

2.1. The number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

2.2. The number of visits to Bahrain.

2.3. Means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

2.4. Place of residence in Bahrain.

2.5. The main purpose of visiting Bahrain

3.1. The number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

3.2. The number of visits to Bahrain.

3.3. Means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

3.4. Place of residence in Bahrain.

3.5. The main purpose of visiting Bahrain

4.1. The number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

4.2. The number of visits to Bahrain.

4.3. Means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

4.4. Place of residence in Bahrain.

4.5. The main purpose of visiting Bahrain

Importance of the Study:

This study is important as it is one of the first to deal with the various aspects of Bahraini tourism; it is intended to find out the degree of satisfaction achieved by the Saudi tourists’ visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to suggest proposals and recommendations to be adopted by the decision makers in tourism; in addition to enhancing the positive and eliminating the negative aspects. The results will be also important for the development of tourism in Bahrain as a positive resource in the national income.

Study Population:

The study population consisted of tourist categories coming to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The researcher aims to investigate their attitudes, opinions and degree of satisfaction with tourism in Bahrain. According to official statistics, the number of Saudis coming to the Kingdom in 2017 amounted to about 9.9 million, compared with 8.9 million in 2016.

Sample of the Study:

Due to the large population of the study, 9.9 million according to the statistics of 2017, the available sample was used in the time range between September and December 2016. The sample size was about 14993 individuals selected in cooperation with the Information and e-Government Authority in Bahrain.

Study Methodology:

The researcher used the descriptive surveying method to achieve the objectives of this study, answer its questions and verify its hypotheses. The descriptive method is one of the most prominent ones used in the descriptive and empirical researches. Hussein defined the survey method as “a systematic scientific effort meant to obtain data and information about the phenomenon subject of the study from a specific sample representing the study population for a sufficient period of time for the purpose of establishing a basic base of data and information required in a particular discipline "( Hussein, 1995, 199 ).

Studying consumer behavior, purchasing motivation and knowing the consumer’s desires and needs will help marketers develop appropriate marketing policies ( Kotler, 1994, 173 ). A careful understanding of the consumer behavior will provide a better picture of how marketing activity works and will help marketers develop more efficient marketing strategies; Predictability of future consumer behavior can also provide information for public decisions related to consumers’ affairs, ( Markin, 1982, 767 ).

The early researchers tried to explain the behavior of the consumer and to know the reasons behind this behavior, and why they behave in this direction. It has been shown that there are three approaches to analyzing the consumer behavior and motivations, namely: the economic, the psychological and the social approaches.

The economic interpretation relied on the analysis is based on the fact that the consumer is rational in his behavior, accurate in his calculations and has full knowledge of the market and its activities, and thus has the ability to choose the best services among the available alternatives. The motives of this behavior are based on material utility, but this approach disregards the impact of social and cultural factors, the fact that utility cannot be measured accurately, in addition to the possibility of the existence of emotional motivation as well as rational motives, ( Markin, 1982 ).

Psychological interpretation is based on the fact that this behavior is the result of the influence of psychological factors within the individual to determine the needs, motives and reactions. This approach was called the medical model, as it is similar to the doctor in diagnosing diseases ( Markin, 1982 ). Psychological interpretation is measured by preference, but economic analysis focuses on the process of consumer preference, while psychologists are interested in the process of creating preference or choice.

Social analysis of consumer behavior is based on the fact that individuals are social in nature; therefore the environment and society will have an impact on their behavior.

In addition to these three approaches to the interpretation of consumer behavior, which provided many results, Markin added another model called the holistic model, which is one of the most accepted in the interpretation of behavior. It stems from the fact that the behavior is due to three factors: the genetic characteristics, past behavior and current circumstances. Together they meet to determine the consumer behavior ( Markin, 1982 ). Most researchers agree that there is no model that can fully satisfy the needs of marketing experts ( Baker, et al., 1993 ).

This study adopted a behavioral approach to explore the views of Saudi tourists about the reality of tourism in Bahrain and the services provided to them. The researcher adopted the survey carried out by Bahrain Information and e-Government Authority, which is undoubtedly a great effort exerted by the Authority throughout the year to provide actual data on the reality of tourism in Bahrain. These data are also used for the purpose of calculating tourism income, duration of residence and tourism satellite accounts.

The sample consisted of 14993 individuals who were selected when they returned via Bahrain Airport or King Fahd Causeway. The respondents were of two categories: The first was one day visitors who stay in Bahrain for one day and do not sleep there. The second category is those who reside in Bahrain for more than a tourist night.

Related Studies:

Al-Ribdawi ( 2014 ) conducted a study entitled “Tourism and its future prospects in the Sultanate of Oman”. One of the most prominent results of the study is that the Sultanate of Oman is provided with tourism, natural, cultural and economic factors that qualify it to be a distinguished tourist state. The study showed that 34.7% of tourists come to the Sultanate for recreational and cultural purposes. And about 40.7% come to visit relatives and friends; and about 20.8% for the purpose of work. The study also showed that investments of about 15 billion dollars will be spent on the infrastructure in order to meet the requirements of the tourism process. The most important recommendations of the study were that the Sultanate needs more tourist facilities and services to absorb the increasing numbers of tourists. The importance of education outputs in tourism institutes and colleges should be taken into consideration in order to meet the requirements of the tourism market, in addition to focusing on marketing and information programs.

Samawi ( 2001 ) conducted a study entitled "Trends and Patterns of Tourism Traffic in the Aqaba Region, Jordan". The most important result was that the tourists’ satisfaction and gratification of their desires are the most important goal to be achieved by successful tourism. The positive impressions generated by tourists will prompt them to come back again, and most importantly is the strength of their influence on their acquaintances and their relatives to visit the tourist area recommended. The study also indicated a significant statistical effect on sex, age, duration of residence and influential media. The study also revealed that there were several motives for tourists to visit an area, including rest, recreation and shopping. The study also showed a high degree of satisfaction among the respondents towards security and stability (87, 7%), treatment of local people (79.3%), and weather beauty (78.3%).

Salem ( 2007 ) did a research on "The behavior of the tourist and his role in determining the tourist pattern". The most important results were: the importance of studying the behavior of the tourist and recognizing his opinions, impressions and satisfaction with the visit. Achieving a high degree of satisfaction should be a priority of tourism decision-makers, because satisfaction has a positive impact on the numbers of incoming tourists, and the sustainability of their influx. The study also revealed that there are many challenges that negatively and positively affect changing the behavior of tourists, on the one hand and the tourist pattern on the other hand, such as terrorist operations, wars and regional conflicts. The study confirmed that the multiplicity of tourist patterns came in response to the different behaviors of the tourist, understanding his needs, desires and tastes of travel. There are other factors in guiding the tourist as the geographical dimension, season and level of income. One of the most important recommendations of the study was the need to understand the behavior of tourists by the tour guides, and to emphasize the preparation of workers in the tourism sector to accommodate the behavior of tourists of different types, in order to achieve a high degree of satisfaction according to their ages, tendencies and desires.

Wahab al-Yasiri ( 2012 ) conducted a study on "Tourism awareness among undergraduate students (Faculty of Arts, University of Kufa a Model"). The researcher sought to recognize the extent of tourism awareness among a certain segment of the society, namely, the university students. Results showed that 70% the sample are willing to activate the tourist movement in the city, in addition to their desire to work in tourism. The sample also showed a desire to raise the awareness among local community about the importance of tourism only by 40%, while the majority (60%) do not educate their communities and their families about the importance of tourism due to lack of awareness of this matter. Therefore, the researcher recommended adding courses on topics related to tourism to instill awareness and tourism culture among university students to understand the tools of social, cultural and economic development.

Zarqain and Al- Alami ( 2016 ) conducted a study entitled "The role of media in achieving sustainable tourism development". The most prominent results are that the different media play a positive role in achieving sustainable development plans and goals. The media plays an important role in serving tourism by highlighting what countries own of tourism attractions. The media is able to educate communities about the importance of tourism; it also works to change people's cultures and beliefs. The study showed that interest in tourism and increasing numbers of tourists contribute effectively to the development of economic and social resources in the country. One of the most important results of the study is the positive role played by the Turkish series in the marketing and tourism promotion to Turkey, where tourism increased from Morocco to Turkey by 51% and from the UAE by 21%. This success is due to the use of images and tourist scenes professionally in the field of tourism information.

Hamani, Amina ( 2012 ) did a research on "The Impact of Electronic Marketing Communication in Attracting Tourists: An Evaluation Study of the Algerian National Diwan for Tourism". The study aimed at addressing the consumer behavior in the light of the availability of information and communication technology, the impact of marketing communication as well as the behavioral dimensions of electronic channels on the psychological aspects of tourists. The study tried to investigate the interrelationship and complementarity between marketing communications and electronic channels in order to make an effective impact on the behavior of the tourists purchasing. Electronic channels play an active role in the development and progress of tourism, but tourism needs to build a clear strategy and set the goals, visions, marketing and promotion. The most important results of this study were that there is a significant statistical relationship between the means of marketing communication and the enhancement of tourism information status. Both direct marketing and public relations have influenced the purchasing behavior at a high rate of 75.9% and 76.1%, respectively.

Perera ( 2017 ) conducted a research on "Tourism Trends and Analysis in Sri Lanka". The researcher studied tourism in Sri Lanka in 2016 in terms of the number of tourists according to their nationalities, and then the means of transport. He studied tourist services and tourism income. The most important result of the study is the increase in the number of tourists coming after 2015, as a result of the political, security and economic conditions. The study also showed that the best time to visit Sri Lanka is the period from December to the end of March, which is the peak of tourism season, in terms of climate. According to the study, one of the most important reasons for tourists to visit Sri Lanka is to visit relatives and friends, and then for religious purposes. Although there are many aspects of nature and adventure, but they do not attract the required numbers of tourists (Kumudika K.E. Perera, 2017 )

-Stephen Pratt et al. ( 2010 ) conducted a study entitled "Measuring Activities of Marketing Campaigns for Tourism Destinations: A Comparative Analysis of Transformational Studies." The focus of this research was on marketing and promotional campaigns for tourist destinations in Britain. The researcher meant to learn effective methods in tourism marketing. Results showed that success of the campaign does not only depend on the number of tourists who have been attracted, but it depends on the tourists’ rate of spending and the value of profits generated by the campaign, compared with the cost assigned for this purpose. The study confirmed that it shouldnot be relied solely on marketing campaigns to attract tourists, as there are other factors that have influenced tourists to choose their destination, including previous personal experience (45%), friends, relatives and co-workers advice (42%), the cost of the tourist trip (27%) and the direct and indirect tourist advertisements (18%). (Stephen Pratt et.al. 2010 )

Delia Fratu ( 2011 ) conducted a study entitled "Factors Affecting the Tourist Consumer". The study stressed the importance of studying the tourist behavior because of its importance in dealing with tourists. This study was applied in Romania, where it found that many European tourists are unwilling to travel abroad because of the high travel costs. The study suggests that Romania should reduce the cost of travel, such as hotels, entrance fees to tourist sites and events to encourage tourists to visit the country. The most important results of the study revealed that the ability of tourists to travel is linked to the income and the standard of living enjoyed by the individual on the one hand, and travel expenses on the other hand. (Delia Fratu, 2011 )

Wong et. al. ( 2013 ) conducted a study entitled “Studying Attitudes, Expectations and Motivations of Travel, an Applied Study on Hong Kong”. Previous studies have shown that the ability of a Hong Kong citizen to travel abroad is at least six times every two years. This study aimed to investigate travel incentives through a sample selected from Hong Kong. One of the main findings of this study is that there is a direct cause that influences the choice of travel destinations, such as knowledge of the individual, love of travel, recreation, and shopping. While the view of friends and family was not effective in selecting the travel destination. One of the most important recommendations of this study was the need to focus on methods of social media in the marketing and tourism promotion in the future, as 85% of the respondents indicated the importance of the role played by these means to convince travelers and tourists to choose their destination. (Wong, Macy and others, 2013 )

-Chiutsi and Mudzengi ( 2017 ) did a research on "Seasonal Tourism in the National Park of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe." The study focused on the seasonal problem this park suffers from, which is the arrival of large numbers of tourists during a particular season. One of the main objectives of the study was to know the seasonal effect on the park, Secondly, what administrative steps are taken to solve the problems caused by the arrival of large numbers above the capacity of the park, and third, to develop a strategy to reduce the negative effects of tourists arrival during a specified period. One of the main findings and recommendations of this study is that the seasonal problem cannot be controlled by raising or lowering prices, especially in the case of Mana pools. Therefore, the study suggested expanding the development of infrastructure services and all park facilities, in addition to training the staff to deal with visitors in seasons which experience large influx of tourists. (Chiutsi, Simon and Mudzengi, Boycen Kumira, 2017 )

Characteristics of the Sample:

The results of the study sample indicate the following characteristics:

As for the sex variable, male visitors are the highest frequent ( 7790 ), by (52%), while female visitors are the lowest frequent ( 7203 ) representing (48%).

In terms of the age variable, visitors aged 56 years and above are the highest frequencies ( 7403 ) representing (49%), while visitors aged 36-45 years are the least frequent ( 2070 ) representing (14%).

The number of working visitors is the highest frequency ( 7325 ) by (49%), while the vocational employers are the least frequent ( 11 ) representing (0.1%).

As for the annual income variable, it is noted that the annual income of visitors, which exceeds BD 24,000, is the highest frequency ( 7024 ) representing (47%).The average annual income for visitors less than 12,000 dinars was about 42%, while the average income of the visitors less than 12000-24000 dinars amounted to about 1708 and representing 11% (Bahraini dinar is equal to 2.65 US dollars).

In terms of the entrance port variable, results show that the highest entrance port is the airport, which reached ( 8776 ) and (58.5%), while the port of King Fahd Causeway received 6217 passengers, which form 41.5%.

In terms of number of times tourists visited Bahrain during the last three years, results showed that the number of (6-9 times) was the highest frequency (52.7%). The number of trips (2-5 times) came in second place with 38.8%.

In terms of the number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain, results showed that the number of nights visitors spent in Bahrain for a night and more is the highest frequency ( 11018 ),representing 73%, and visitors who did not spend any night are the least frequent ( 3975 ).

The Study Results and Discussions:

Question 1: What are the means that encouraged you to visit Bahrain?

Table1: shows frequencies and percentages of the respondents on: “What are the means that encouraged you to visit Bahrain?”

Percentage % FrequencyMedia that encouraged travel0.121Website of Bahrain Tourism Authority11.91776Friends and relatives1.8270Internet and social networking sites45.96880Newspapers, magazines and advertising publications0.013TV and radio advertising31.94774Previous visits0.456Travel agencies8.11213Others10014993TotalPercentage % FrequencyMedia that encouraged travel0.121Website of Bahrain Tourism Authority11.91776Friends and relatives1.8270Internet and social networking sites45.96880Newspapers, magazines and advertising publications0.013TV and radio advertising31.94774Previous visits0.456Travel agencies8.11213Others10014993Total

Table ( 1 ) shows frequencies and percentages of respondents on the means that encouraged visiting Bahrain. Results showed that the most encouraging means are newspapers, magazines and advertising publications at a percentage of 45.9% of the total sample, followed by previous visits by 3 1 .9%, and the least encouraging means were television and radio ads by 0.01%.

Question 2: What is the main purpose of your visit to Bahrain?

Table 2: shows frequencies and percentages of the sample responses on the main purpose of the visit to Bahrain.

Percentage %FrequencyResponses11.51728Recreation and holidays0.346Visiting family and friends0.8119Education / Training23.83575Health and medical care0.685Religious objects45.86868Shopping5.6833Transit3.4517Commercial or professional8.21222Others10014993TotalPercentage %FrequencyResponses11.51728Recreation and holidays0.346Visiting family and friends0.8119Education / Training23.83575Health and medical care0.685Religious objects45.86868Shopping5.6833Transit3.4517Commercial or professional8.21222Others10014993Total

Table ( 2 ) shows frequencies and percentages of the sample responses to the main purpose of the visit to Bahrain.

Results showed that the main purpose of the visit to Bahrain is for shopping, which is the highest frequent (45.8%), health and medical care (23.8%), leisure and recreation 11.5%, and visiting relatives and friends is the least frequent (0.3%).

Comparing these results with those of the study conducted by the researcher ( Samawi, 2005, p. 146 ) on Lattakia, it was found that the motives of visiting Lattakia vary: to spend summer vacation and recreation (97.9%, 96.4%, respectively) , to play water games 70.1%, and enjoy nature 53.3% .

Question 3: What are your places of residence in Bahrain?

Table 3: shows Frequencies and percentages of the sample responses on the place of residence in Bahrain.

Percentage % FrequencyPlaces of residence in Bahrain19.62942Hotels2.9441Hotel Apartments4.9740With relatives and friends46.76994Owned Houses0.455Rented Apartments25.53801Others10014973TotalPercentage % FrequencyPlaces of residence in Bahrain19.62942Hotels2.9441Hotel Apartments4.9740With relatives and friends46.76994Owned Houses0.455Rented Apartments25.53801Others10014973Total

Table ( 3 ) shows frequencies and percentages of the respondents' answers on the place of residence. Results showed that most of visitors ( 6904 ) or (46.7%) stay in owned houses, and about 25.5%, 19.6% in hotels, 4.9% stay with relatives and friends, and 2.9% in hotel apartments.

4. What activities did Saudi tourists do during their visit to Bahrain?

Table 4: shows frequencies and percentages of the sample’s responses on the activities visitors do during their visit to Bahrain.

Percentage % FrequencyActivities tourists did in Bahrain12.91932Visiting friends and relatives1.2174Visiting heritage areas and castles1.1166Visiting the National Museum7.41103Visiting parks and entertainment venues11.21679Attending professional conferences21.93284Attending exhibitions43.36492Visiting shopping centers ( Malls )11.01646Visiting traditional markets, such as Bab Al Bahrain market0.8125Medical treatment and convalescence0.466Attending festivals0.578Visiting natural reserves0.695Attending sports events and racesPercentage % FrequencyActivities tourists did in Bahrain12.91932Visiting friends and relatives1.2174Visiting heritage areas and castles1.1166Visiting the National Museum7.41103Visiting parks and entertainment venues11.21679Attending professional conferences21.93284Attending exhibitions43.36492Visiting shopping centers ( Malls )11.01646Visiting traditional markets, such as Bab Al Bahrain market0.8125Medical treatment and convalescence0.466Attending festivals0.578Visiting natural reserves0.695Attending sports events and races

Table ( 4 ) shows frequencies and percentages of the respondents' answers on the activities of the visitors during their visit to Bahrain. Results showed that most important activities practiced by the visitors during their stay in Bahrain are visiting the commercial shopping malls, which was the highest frequency (6 4 92). The lowest activities practiced are attending festivals, by (0.4%).

Comparing the results of this study with the study of ( Samawi ,2005, p. 149 ) on Lattakia, it was found that activities in both Bahrain and Lattakia are different ,as most of the activities of tourists in Lattakia are geared towards going swimming by 72.2% then visiting woods by 22.3%, practicing sports 17.1%, and attending concerts 12.1%.

Figure 1 Table 5:shows frequencies and percentages of the sample’s responses on the assessment of tourism services in Bahrain.

Identifying the views and impressions of tourists is an important indicator that reflects the tourists satisfaction with the services provided to them. Table ( 5 ) shows the Saudi tourists’ degree of satisfaction with the services provided to them in Bahrain. The researcher interpreted table ( 5 ), giving the level of satisfaction “excellent” four points, “good” three points, “average” two points, “weak “one point, and “inapplicable” zero. Results appeared in percentages. The results show that the visitors' assessment of the facilities provided by Bahrain Airport is good at about 70%, and the visitors’ assessment of the facilities of King Fahd causeway is very low of about 48%. The assessment of taxi / car rental was average about 6 5 %, and the assessment of place of residence was good of about 69.5%; the evaluation of restaurants and excellent cafeterias came excellent by 83%.The evaluation of shopping was very good about 75.8%; the assessment of recreational activities was good about 68.5%. Visitors' evaluation of overall cleanliness was excellent about 84%; assessment of safety and security was very good at 74.6%, and the assessment of the local people of the country behavior towards Saudi tourists was excellent at 83%. The overall assessment of the journey was quite excellent 85.2%. When comparing the results of satisfaction of tourists visiting Bahrain, with the study results of ( Samawi, 2001, pages 512, 513 ) on Aqaba, it was found that the results vary in some aspects and converge in others, for example, security and stability was 87.7% in Aqaba, but it was 83% in Bahrain; treatment of local people in Aqaba was 78.3%, but it was 83% in Bahrain; the level of cleanliness in Aqaba was 68.2%, but it was 84.5% in Bahrain. The overall satisfaction with the journey to Aqaba was 67.4%, but it was 85.4% in Bahrain.

Hypotheses of the Study:

Hypothesis (1.1):

There is a significant statistical relationship between sex and the number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain. Table ( 6 ) shows this.

Table 6: shows Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the number of nights spent by the tourist in Bahrain.

Total Female Male Category Number of Nights
3975 31 3944 Number Did not spend a night
26.5% 0.2% 26.3% Percentage %
11018 7172 3846 Number Spent a night and more
37.5% 47.8% 25.7% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13737.68 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the number of nights The value of (χ2) was (13737 68) at a level of significance (000)

Hypothesis (1.2):

There is a significant statistical relationship between sex and the number of visits to Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years. Table ( 7 ) shows this.

Table 7: shows Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years.

Total Female Male Category Number of Visits
1038 118 920 Number Once
6.9% 0.8% 6.1% Percentage %
4783 64 4719 Number 2-3
31.9% 0.4% 31.5% Percentage %
1007 87 920 Number 4-5
6.7% 0.6% 6.1% Percentage %
7494 6905 589 Number 6-7
50% 0.3% 3.9% Percentage %
432 19 413 Number 8-9
2.9% 0.1% 2.8% Percentage %
239 10 229 Number 10 times and more
1.6% 0.1% 1.5% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13748.46 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years The value of (χ2) was (13 74846) at a level of significance (000)

Hypothesis (1.3):

There is a significant statistical relationship between sex and the means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to visit Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to visit Bahrain. Table ( 8 ) shows this.

Table 8: shows Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the means that encouraged the tourists to visit Bahrain.

Total Female Male Category Means that ecouraged a visit
21 2 19 Number Bahrain Tourism Authority Website
0.1% 0.0% 0.1% Percentage %
1776 204 1572 Number Friends and Relatives
11.8% 1.4% 10.5% Percentage %
270 4 266 Number Internet and social networking sites
1.8% 0.0% 1.8% Percentage %
6880 6868 12 Number Newspapers, magazines and advertising publications
45.9% 45.8% 0.1% Percentage %
1213 67 1146 Number Others
8.1% 0.4% 7.6% Percentage %
4774 55 4719 Number Previous visits
31.8% 0.4% 31.5% Percentage %
56 3 53 Number Travel agencies
0.4% 0.0% 0.4% Percentage %
3 0 3 Number TV and radio advertising
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13744.24 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the means that encouraged tourists to visit Bahrain The value of (χ2) was (1374 846) at a level of significance (000)

Hypothesis (1.4):

There is a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence in Bahrain.

To answer this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit as follows:

I. Hotels (1.4.1)

Table 9: shows Chi square to find the relationship between sex and the place of residence at hotels

Total Female Male Category
5248 260 4988 Number No Place of residence at hotels
35.0% 1.7% 33.3% Percentage %
9743 6943 2802 Number Yes
65% 46.3% 18.7% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13468.83 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit ( Hotels) The value of (χ2) was (1346883) at a level of significance (000)

II. Hotel Apartments 1.4.2))

Table 10: shows Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and residence at hotel apartments.

Total Female Male Category
7749 392 7357 Number No Place of residence at hotel Apartments
51.7% 2.6% 49.1% Percentage %
7244 6811 433 Number Yes
48.3% 45.5% 2.9% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13470.56 Chi Square
.0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit ( Hotel apartments) The value of (χ2) was (1347056) at a level of significance (000)

III. Staying with relatives and friends (1.4.3)

Table 11: shows Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and place of residence with relatives and friends.

Total Female Male Category
7450 244 7206 Number No Staying with relatives and friends
49.7% 1.6% 48.1% Percentage %
7543 6959 584 Number Yes
50.3% 46.4% 3.9% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13554.30 Chi Square
.0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit ( With friends and relatives) The value of (χ2) was (1355430) at a level of significance (000)

IV. Owned Houses (1.4.4)

Table 12 shows Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and place of residence at owned houses.

Total Female Male Category
8109 399 7710 Number No Residence at owned houses
54.1% 2.7% 51.4% Percentage %
6894 6804 80 Number Yes
46.9% 45.4% 0.5% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13469.24 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit ( Owned houses) The value of (χ2) was (1346924) at a level of significance (000)

V. Rented Apartments:

Table 13 shows Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and place of residence at rented apartments.

Total Female Male Category
8135 395 7740 Number No Residence at rented apartments
54.3% 2.6% 51.6% Percentage %
6858 6808 50 Number Yes
45.8% 45.4% 0.3% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13469.20 Chi Square
.000 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the place of residence during the visit ( Rented apartments) The value of (χ2) was ( 1346920) at a level of significance (000)

Hypothesis (1.5):

There is a significant statistical relationship between sex and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used to find the relationship between sex and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. Table ( 14 ) shows this

Table 14: shows Chi square test to find the relationship between sex and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain.

Total Female Male Category The main Purpose of visiting Bahrain
1728 66 1662 Number Business or profession work
11.5% 0.4% 11.1% Percentage %
46 2 44 Number Education / Training
0.3% 0.0% 0.3% Percentage %
119 0 119 Number Health and medical care
0.8% 0.0% 0.8% Percentage %
3575 73 3502 Number Recreation, and holidays
23.8% 0.5% 23.4% Percentage %
6952 6873 79 Number Others
46.4% 45.8% 0.5% Percentage %
1 0 1 Number Religious purposes
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% Percentage %
833 1 832 Number Shopping
5.6% 0.0% 5.5% Percentage %
517 14 503 Number Transit
3.4% 0.1% 3.4% Percentage %
1222 174 1048 Number Visit family and friends
8.2% 1.2% 7.0% Percentage %
14993 7203 7790 Number Total
100.0% 48.0% 52.0% Percentage %
13765.83 Chi Square
0.00 Level of Significance

Results showed a significant statistical relationship between sex and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain The value of (χ2) was (1376583) at a level of significance (000)

Hypothesis (2.1):

There is a significant statistical relationship between age variable and the number of nights spent by the Saudi tourist in Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between age and the number of nights a tourist spend in Bahrain. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between age and the number of nights a tourist spend in Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (86.26) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (2.2):

There is a significant statistical relationship between age and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between age and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years.Results showed a significant statistical relationship between age and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years. The value of (χ2) was (202.50) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (2.3):

There is a significant statistical relationship between age and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between age and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between age and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (576.23) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (2.4):

There is a significant statistical relationship between age and the place of residence in Bahrain.

To prove this hypothesis, the researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between age and the place of residence during the visit to Bahrain as follows:

I. Hotels (2.4.1): Chi square test results showed a significant statistical relationship between age and place of residence (hotels). The value of (χ2) was (61.00) at a level of significance (0.00).

II.Hotel apartments (2.4.2):

Chi square test used to determine the relationship between age and place of residence (hotel apartments) indicate a significant statistical relationship between age and place of residence (hotel apartments). The value of (χ2) was (21.84) at a level of significance (0.00).

III. Staying with relatives and friends (2.4.3):

Chi square test used to determine the relationship between age and place of residence (with relatives and friends) indicate a significant statistical relationship between age and place of residence (with relatives and friends). The value of (χ2) was (33.86) at a level of significance (0.00).

IV. Owned houses:

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between age and place of residence (owned houses) indicate a significant statistical relationship between age and place of residence (owned houses). The value of (χ2) was (45.59) at a level of significance (0.00).

V. Rented apartments ((2.4.5:

Chi square test used to determine the relationship between age and place of residence (rented apartments) show that there is no significant statistical relationship between age and place of residence (rented apartments). The value of (χ2) was (2.05) at a level of significance (0.727).

Hypothesis (2.5):

There is a significant statistical relationship between age and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain

The researcher employed Chi square to find the relationship between age and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between age and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (821.52) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (3.1):

There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the number of nights a Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square to find the relationship between occupation and the number of nights a Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the number of nights a Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15022.95) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (3.2):

There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the number of visits to Bahrain

The researcher employed Chi square to find the relationship between occupation and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the number of visits to Bahrain during the last three years. The value of (χ2) was (15126.93) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (3.3):

There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the means that encouraged the Saudi visitor to come to Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square to find the relationship between occupation and the means that encouraged the Saudi visitor to come to Bahrain. Results showed a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the means that encouraged the Saudi visitor to come to Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15403.59) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (3.4):

There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the place of residence in Bahrain.

The researcher used Chi square to find the relationship between occupation and places of residence during the visit, as follows:

I. Hotels (3. 4. 1):

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between occupation and place of residence during the visit (hotels) indicate that there is significant statistical relationship between occupation and place of residence (hotels). The value of (χ2) was (14865.63) at a level of significance (0.727).

II. Hotel apartments (3.4.2):

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between occupation and place of residence during the visit (hotel apartments) reveal that there is significant statistical relationship between occupation and place of residence (hotel apartments). The value of (χ2) was (14759.69) at a level of significance (0.727).

III. Staying with relatives and friends (3 .4. 3):

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between occupation and place of residence during the visit (with relatives and friends) show that there is significant statistical relationship between occupation and place of residence (with relatives and friends). The value of (χ2) was (15061.02) at a level of significance (0.00).

IV. Owned houses (3.4.4):

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between occupation and place of residence during the visit (owned houses) show that there is significant statistical relationship between occupation and place of residence (owned houses). The value of (χ2) was (14764.55) at a level of significance (0.00).

V. Rented apartments (3. 4. 5):

Results of Chi square test used to determine the relationship between occupation and place of residence during the visit (rented apartments) show that there is significant statistical relationship between occupation and place of residence (rented apartments). The value of (χ2) was (14740.33) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (3.5):

There is a significant statistical relationship between occupation and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain.

The researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between occupation and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. Results revealed that there was significant statistical relationship between occupation and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15736.18) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (4.1):

There is a significant statistical relationship between income and the number of nights the Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain.

The researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and the number of nights the Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain. Results revealed that there was significant statistical relationship between annual income and the number of nights the Saudi tourist spend in Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15223.16) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (4.2):

There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and the number of visits to Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and the number of visits to Bahrain. Results revealed that there was significant statistical relationship between annual income and the number of visits to Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15097.99) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (4.3):

There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain. Results revealed that there was significant statistical relationship between annual income and means that encouraged the Saudi tourist to come to Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15302.13) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (4.4):

There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and places of residence in Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income variable and places of residence during the tourists’ visit as follows:

I. Hotels (4. 4. 1):

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (hotels). Results showed that there was significant statistical relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (hotels). The value of (χ2) was (14985.25) at a level of significance (0.00).

II.Hotel apartments (4. 4.2):

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (hotel apartments). Results showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between annual income and place of residence during the tourists’ visit, (hotel apartments). The value of (χ2) was (14753.61) at a level of significance (0.00).

III. With relatives and friends (4. 4. 3):

The researcher used Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (with relatives and friends). Results showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between annual income and place of residence during the tourists’ visit, (with relatives and friends). The value of (χ2) was (14738.45) at a level of significance (0.00).

IV. Owned Houses (4. 4. 4):

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (owned house). Results showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between annual income and place of residence during the tourists’ visit, (owned house). The value of (χ2) was (14773.20) at a level of significance (0.00).

V. Rented Apartments (4. 4. 5):

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and place of residence during tourists’ visit, (rented apartments). Results showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between annual income and place of residence during the tourists’ visit, (rented apartments). The value of (χ2) was (14733.67) at a level of significance (0.00).

Hypothesis (4.5):

There is a significant statistical relationship between income variable and main purpose of visiting Bahrain.

The researcher employed Chi square test to find the relationship between annual income and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain). Results showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between annual income and the main purpose of visiting Bahrain. The value of (χ2) was (15464.82) at a level of significance (0.00).

Summary of the Study Results:

The study was a survey about the characteristics and trends of Saudi tourists in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The survey showed that the largest percentage 52% of incoming tourists are males, and most of them are aged more than 56 years old and form 49%. The majority 49% are employed and belong to the high income category of more than ( 24000 ) dinars per year; they form 47%. Most Saudi interviewees 58.5% were interviewed at Bahrain Airport, while the rest were interviewed at King Fahd Causeway. More than 52.7% of the sample visited Bahrain between 6-9 times in the last three years.

When the respondents were asked about their purpose of visiting Bahrain, they replied that shopping was the main purpose of visiting Bahrain by 45.8%; and where they lived, it was found that most of them were residing in owned residences with 46.7%. As for the activities they practiced in Bahrain, 43.3% of them replied that commercial shopping centers won their interests.

When respondents were asked about their degree of satisfaction with the tourism services offered to them in Bahrain, tourists expressed their dissatisfaction with some services such as: King Fahd Causeway Services, where the degree of satisfaction of tourists was very low at 48%.

There are some services that have received a degree of average satisfaction, such as taxi services, car rentals, accommodation, and recreational activities; while some services achieved good satisfaction, such as Bahrain airport services, restaurants, cafeterias, shopping malls, and security and peace atmosphere. The tourists were feeling high about the behavior of the people of Bahrain and their dealings with Saudi tourists. Their sense of satisfaction was also high on the issue of public cleanliness. Overall, the tourists’ satisfaction in Bahrain was very high at 85.2%.

Recommendations:

The study has shown significant results and it is worthy of being seen by decision-makers in Bahrain because of its impact on the tourism process. Meeting some of the requirements of Saudi tourism and achieving their satisfaction is a success for tourism planning. In the light of the study results and the tourists’ suggestions and impressions, the researcher recommends the following:

The level of tourism services in general should be improved, especially as the study showed that the majority of tourists are in the age group of more than 56 years, and the majority is also of high-income.

Shopping services and shopping centers should be expanded. The majority of tourists choose Bahrain for shopping, leisure and entertainment (43.3%).Visits to heritage sites and museums only received a very small percentage of the Saudi tourists’ interest.

The role of exhibitions in attracting Saudi tourists should be developed; as the study showed that the exhibitions held in Bahrain were the target of about 21.9% of tourists.

Travel procedures on King Fahd Causeway should be simplified and made easier; as only 2.6% of the total number of Saudi tourists and visitors of the 8.9 million who entered Bahrain in 2016 arrived via Bahrain Airport. Despite the attempts made by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to simplify procedures on the King Fahd Causeway, the problem is aggravated during the weekends and public holidays. About 48% of the sample showed dissatisfaction with this problem. This problem is worthy of attention as it needs immediate and rapid answers.

Many recreational activities should be made available, as the sample showed an average degree of satisfaction with the available entertainment services.

Motivations and Attitude, Contemporary Management Research, Pages

169-186, Vol, 9, No.2, June,

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