Towards a high-quality religious tourism marketing: The case of Hajj service in Saudi Arabia

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Hajj (Pilgrimage) is a unique, universal Islamic event, taking place annually, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, accommodating around 3 million Muslims (Ministry of Hajj, 2010). Hajj consists of performing specific prayers at the sacred places and as it is obligatory as one of the five pillars of Islam, it is imperative that the experience is a safe and pleasant one for the pilgrims. This article investigates the quality of Hajj service and the satisfaction level of the pilgrims as "customers." It is distinguished from other work as it considers the importance of facilities and services required for Hajj with respect to the actual pilgrims' perceptions (i.e., the demand side) rather than service providers' and/or planners' perceptions (i.e., the supply side). Using a sample of 934 pilgrims from five different countries and following Parasuraman's SERVQUAL model we found that tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy are perceived as being important factors that make safe and pleasant Hajj. Furthermore, the article provides a detailed discussion of SERVQUAL as measurement tool to test the level of pilgrims' satisfaction of the facilities and services provided during Hajj period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-522
Number of pages14
JournalTourism Analysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Hajj
  • Pilgrimage
  • Religious tourism
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Service marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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