Heritage hotel experiences in Nizwa, Oman

Hafidh Al Riyami *, Hamed Almuhrzi, Noel Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oman is a developing tourism destination providing a range of cultural heritage experiences. The Omani Government has focused on preservation of tangible heritage such as forts, souqs and archaeology sites, where there is a separation between heritage experiences and resident's everyday life. Recently, small entrepreneurs in Nizwa, Oman have begun to reuse traditional houses as heritage accommodation and thus embedding the tourist in the social fabric. This research examines the development of these private sector heritage hotels and their implications for the development of tourism in Nizwa. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with government, entrepreneurs, tourists, and residents. This study contextualises the practices framework of Richards (2018), illustrating the mutually dependent and evolving interrelationships between meanings, resources and competences in a developing destination. The reuse of heritage hotels as a way to provide tourists with intangible cultural heritage and contemporary life experiences has changed the meanings of these resources from valueless to valuable. This supports the further development of intangible cultural heritage tourism experiences, but implies stakeholders need new competencies in experience design and destination management. The study indicates that cultural practices are dynamic and that various stakeholder groups (government, residents, businesses, and tourists) may have different meanings and competences. Further research is required to determine if these dynamic relationships form patterns across destinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 14 2021


  • competences
  • experience design
  • intangible cultural hertiage
  • Oman
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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