Barriers and motivations affecting Information Systems usage by Hajj–Umrah religious tourism operators in Saudi Arabia

Hani Brdesee, Brian Corbitt, Siddhi Pittayachawan


Hajj & Umrah religious tourism accounts for seven million visitors each year in Saudi Arabia. The government has recently taken initiatives to promote the use of Information Systems (IS) in the religious tourism industry, encouraging firms to adopt IS innovations like e-commerce and enforcing the use of the Makha’a information system in Umrah for external pilgrims and the Yosr information system in Hajj for internal pilgrims. This study outlines the motivations and challenges that affect the utilisation of various IS services in the Saudi religious tourism industry through a qualitative analysis of the views and perceptions of senior executives and owners of travel firms. The findings suggest that while government initiatives and industry competitiveness were two positive factors promoting IS use, there are some major barriers preventing private firms from fully utilising the advantages of information systems. These include external factors such as lack of support from the IT industry and access to IT resources as well as internal factors within an organisation such as lack of commitment or the need for professional IT expertise. The study finds that relative advantage is a critical contributor to IS utilisation which depends on information systems characteristics.


Hajj-Umrah Tourism; Information System; Technology Adoption; Saudi Arabia

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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