“Activity-Based Segmentation of the Outbound Leisure Tourism in the UAE” by Mumuni & Mansour


The research article “Activity-based segmentation of the outbound leisure tourism market of Saudi Arabia” is dedicated to the investigation of the activities that are popular among tourists from Saudi Arabia. The authors provide a detailed analysis of the recent literature and conduct the activity-based segmentation of the touristic market. The research objective is formulated rather clearly: “to develop profiles of outbound tourists from the country based on the extent to which they see various vacation activities as a necessary part of a successful vacation” (Mumuni & Mansour, 2014, p. 240). Before the goal formulation, the authors specify the purpose of the research: to contribute to the existing knowledge by their investigation of the previous studies. The mentioned purpose formulation might be interpreted as the statement that the authors do not provide the scientific novelty of the investigation. However, further, in the text, they offer information about the significance of their research. Therefore, it is not completely clear what were the reasons for formulating the purpose and the goal separately.

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Main body

Based on the goal, three research questions are clearly stated. It is possible to note that they are formulated specifically and correspond to the goal of the study. The authors also underline the significance of this research for both local and global touristic markets. To answer the research questions, the authors collected and analyzed the data from the large survey. According to Bryman (2015), the survey is a commonly used method for social studies. The approach used to answer the research questions can be referred to as having a range of strong points. Westfall and Henning (2013) argue that using the structural self-administrated questionnaire, the survey aims at determining the general preferences of vacation destinations and activities. The list of the activities was formulated based on the literature data. In the survey, the respondents estimated the importance of every activity on a scale from one to five.

The weak point of the approach of the article is that the main hypothesis is not stated at the beginning of the study, thus making the expected outcomes unclear. Therefore, it can be enhanced by applying a more specific and focused organizational structure (Sekaran & Bougie, 2016). The quality of the data is appropriate as it is based on proper data collection and sampling. In particular, the questions about respondents’ social and economic statuses were presented. At this point, it can be stated that the question formulation was proper and clear. The potential respondents’ were involved randomly from the four shop-molls. They represented different genders and age groups and were equally split between single and married. Sampling techniques were conducted appropriately to represent the population.

To analyze the data, several statistical approaches were applied, including the cluster analysis, the principal components analysis, the discriminant analysis, the analysis of variance, and the x2analysis. Such comprehensive statistical analysis of the data promotes the increase of the veracity of the obtained results (Bryman, 2015). The cluster analysis revealed several findings based on correlation and dendrogram. For example, it was identified that males are more likely to select the conservative cluster rather than females. In their turn, the majority of females are characterized as variety seekers. ANOVA analysis of variance showed that the conservative cluster values relaxation and knowledge-seeking most of all while the variety seekers prefer relaxation and leisure in the role of the touristic activities. The factor analysis, focusing on pull and push factors, illustrated the prevalence of the outdoor adventure dimension. The above statistical methods of analysis help to evaluate the results of the research and improve the reliability of the findings by providing essential grounds for the theoretical generalizations and determining the value of the received information. This allows showing the quantitative relationship in the form of graphs, charts, or tables to ensure the visibility of findings (Anderson, Sweeney, Williams, Camm, & Cochran, 2017).

Mumuni and Mansour (2014) appropriately apply the statistical methods to test the initial assumptions and come up with elaborate decisions. The empirically assigned distributions correlate with the so-called general indicators, namely, with the most complete theoretical description of the distributions of the corresponding mass phenomena (Sekaran & Bougie, 2016). The authors of the article are aware that it is usually inappropriate to consider all the elements of the collections under consideration, either because of an extremely large number of them or because the registration of new ones will not bring significant changes in the overall results. In this connection, they utilize a special sampling method developed for studying the general properties of statistical systems based on studying only a part of the corresponding elements taken for the sample. Precisely speaking they focus on 17 activities and several indicators to represent the findings in terms of descriptive statistics.

Along with the statistical methods, the authors of the article also utilized the alternative method of the qualitative analysis and initiated questionnaires to reflect on the respondents’ travel preferences. Agresti, Finlay, and Miller (2013) reckon that a questionnaire survey is one of two focal types of questionnaire methods used to obtain empirical information concerning objective facts, opinions, and behaviors. The essential attribute of the questionnaire survey is the indirect nature of the interaction between a researcher and a respondent, who communicate using the questionnaire, and a respondent reads the questions offered to him or her and fixes answers (Bryman, 2015). However, the results of the mentioned method are also presented through statistical means, such as cross-tabulation and w2 analysis.

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Evaluating the “statement of the findings”, it is crucial to claim that the empirical analysis supports its speculations. In other words, all the points of findings are made based on the information that was received, interpreted, and analyzed in the course of this study. No inappropriate assumptions were detected. To ensure that the selective distribution characterizes the study findings sufficiently and reliably, it is necessary to satisfy special conditions of representativeness that require random selection of the elements and taking into account the macrostructure of the entire phenomenon (Agresti et al., 2013). This article focuses on random sampling and several statistical methods that are based on SPSS and ANOVA applications. The critical role of the construction of the statistical models is to explain the phenomena and processes under study (Agresti et al., 2013). If the model is comprehensive sufficiently, then it describes the relationships between the key parameters of the phenomena. In the case of the article under analysis, the set of the statistical methods establish connections between the elements and illustrate their significance.

In terms of transferability, the study can be expanded to the other related sectors. For instance, it will be possible to discuss the characteristics of inbound tourism once the data on the outbound one is collected. Moreover, transferability will allow making some adequate generalizations to consider the topic on the global scale, thus comparing it with tourism peculiarities of the other countries. Nonetheless, there are several limitations to this study. The article focuses on the ideal imagined situations rather than the actual ones as the respondents were asked to come up with details regarding the former. Therefore, there is a risk of bias occurrence caused by the social desirability phenomenon. For instance, the concept of entertainment may turn out to be biased as Saudi Arabia citizens traditionally percept it as watching movies or some other similar activities that fit their religious beliefs. The second limitation is associated with the fact that the respondents were in the planning phase and thus may idealize their perceptions on tourism aspects.

While conducting the quantitative research on business issues, particular difficulties may arise as the analysis of the general directions of social processes and internal mechanisms that cause specific statistical results is rather complicated (Anderson et al., 2017). Accordingly, the segmentation of outbound tourism is characterized by plenty of parameters and corresponding distributions, including sociodemographic profiles, vacation activity dimension and, cluster means, and other indicators of activities. The identification of the connections between these distributions and the trends of their change requires the solution of plenty of complex problems, and the authors express the complete understanding of these issues (Bryman, 2015). Thus, one may conclude that the representatively of the article is adequate and clear.

Another issue worth turning one’s attention to is the presence of visual material such as tables. They serve as the convincing argument that the article comprises some proven data in the format of statistics organized in tables. The analysis of the data that was made by the authors can be proved as it focuses on credible studies that were conducted earlier. The findings presented by Mumuni and Mansour (2014) cannot be easily argued and denied as there is evidence of them being taken from credible sources that make the information presented in the article accurate and trustworthy. It is possible to conclude that the goal desired by the authors was achieved as they provided a reader with useful and comprehensible information.


To conclude, it should be emphasized that the article presents a range of implications the most essential of which is the fact that it fulfills the gap in data by collecting and integrating useful information. It is possible to note that taking into account the rapidly growing popularity of the touristic market, it is of great importance to explore this topic. The statistical methods that were utilized to analyze the facts seem to be relevant and sufficient to enlighten the issue of outbound tourism among Saudi Arabia tourists. The thorough and accurate application of such methods as the principal components analysis, the analysis of variance, the discriminant analysis, and the x2analysis helps the authors to provide the key insights regarding the theme, thus contributing to the promotion of tourism to some extent. Considering that the article focuses on potential activities, it is possible to improve the study by conducting an investigation of real tourism activities that people tend to initiate. The perspective research on the mentioned issue is likely to benefit tourism and increase its significance among Saudi Arabia citizens.

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Agresti, A., Finlay, B., & Miller, J. (2013). Statistical methods for the social sciences (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Anderson, D. R., Sweeney, D. J., Williams, T. A., Camm, J. D., & Cochran, J. J. (2017). Statistics for business & economics (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Bryman, A. (2015). Social research methods. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Mumuni, A. G., & Mansour, M. (2014). Activity-based segmentation of the outbound leisure tourism market of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 20(3), 239-252. Web.

Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business: A skill-building approach (7th ed.). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Westfall, P. H., & Henning, K. S. (2013). Understanding advanced statistical methods. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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