This study sheds light on the satisfaction of pilgrims and service gaps of tour operators. Data were gathered from 236 Bangladeshi pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Mecca and Madina and in Bangladesh in 2019. The results reveal that 94.9% of the tourists were satisfied with air services, followed by food, accommodation, Hajj- training, sightseeing, stone-throwing, Arafa, Mujdalifa, Meena and transportation services (75.8%, 61.9%, 56.8%, 54.3%, 54.3%, 53.4%, 52.5%, 51.3%, and 43.2% respectively. Under the Mann-Whitney U test, pilgrims’ perceptions of tour operators’ services significantly differed based on gender and expenditure of respondents. The results show that satisfaction with accommodation, food, Meena, Arafa, Mujdalifa, Hajj training, sightseeing, stonethrowing, and transportation services significantly varied. This suggests that tour operators need to offer the expected services to the spiritual tourists and minimise the service gaps. The entire hajj journey is full of rituals that require specific rules and Shari’ah knowledge to perform. The pilgrims need profound knowledge, but, they lack proper religious learning. Therefore, tour operators must appoint an Islamic scholar who needs to guide the pilgrims before and during the Hajj journey so that the pilgrims perform each ritual accurately. Spiritual tour operators have to attend to the tourists to make improve their satisfaction as the pilgrims are not simple tourists, rather, they are spiritual tourists, having a good relationship with their Creator, Allah the Almighty.
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Islam, Mohammad Mominul
"The Satisfaction of Bangladeshi Pilgrims: Service gaps in spiritual tourism based on gender and expenditure,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol9/iss1/10