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Stakeholder Perspectives Towards National Parks and Protected Areas in Saudi Arabia

1
Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8208, USA
2
College of Tourism and Archaeology, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082323
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 30 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

There is a genuine need to examine stakeholders’ perception of biodiversity conservation and tourism development due to overlapping roles and conflicting priorities among key governmental agencies in Saudi Arabia. The need to understand the role of each stakeholder group will assist to support policy formulation and implementation, along with effective practices. Within this context, the purpose of this study was to examine stakeholder perspectives towards National Parks and Protected Areas in Saudi Arabia. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews from 11 stakeholders’ representative of public, private, and non-governmental organizations from the tourism and conservation community. Findings revealed four main themes—tourism development, management issues, development challenges, and policy concerns. In addition, multiple sub-themes within each were further categorized. Overall, findings highlight the need to form a foundation for sustainable tourism development that aims to conserve biodiversity and provide opportunities for local communities to ensure economic growth. Implications for development in National Parks and Protected Areas in Saudi Arabia are also noted. View Full-Text
Keywords: protected areas; biodiversity; tourism; conservation; stakeholders; Middle East protected areas; biodiversity; tourism; conservation; stakeholders; Middle East
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Al-Tokhais, A.; Thapa, B. Stakeholder Perspectives Towards National Parks and Protected Areas in Saudi Arabia. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2323.

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