Identifying the Influential Factors Enriching the Experiences of Visitors of Touristic Religious Sites: The Case Study of Al-Khandaq Battle Site
Keywords:Visitors Experiences, Heritage preservation, Al-Khandaq Battle, Tourists Perception, Tourist Motivation Values
Enriching visitors' experiences at religious, historical sites (RHS) is getting more attention than before. This research aims to identify and investigate the influential factors enriching the visitors' experience at such a site, using Al-Khandaq battle site as the case study. Forty-two respondents were interviewed at the site and NVivo 12 pro software was used to code and analyze the responses. The study explored tourist motivations, expectations, and perceptions as the guiding constructs in detailed qualitative analysis. Foremost, learning, reliving the experience of the events of the battle, and Islamic values were the primary motivation to the historic site visitation. Next, findings reveal the extent to which tourists' expectations can be met through the availability of an open museum, accessibility, and the spatial and experiential simulation of the ancient Al-Khandaq path. Lastly, the need to reconstruct the historical site in spatial planning and experiential dimensions formed the main thrust of the element of visitors' perception. Based on the foregoing, the study recommends that Al-Khandaq site should be developed traditionally as an open museum, displaying both religious and historical elements of the battle with emphasis on the visual connection to the Prophet's mosque
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