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A Market Segmentation Study Based on Benefits Sought by Visitors at Heritage Sites

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In order to contribute to the knowledge base of heritage tourism and the segmentation literature, this study examined the underlying market segments that exist with regards to the benefits that visitors seek while visiting heritage sites. One hundred ninety-seven surveys were returned, a useable response rate of 29%, from a mailing list made up of individuals seeking tourism information from an urban and a rural area. The results of the data analysis found that 15 survey items representing benefits sought at a heritage site fell into three underlying dimensions: “Escape,” “Social,” and “Education.” Two unique clusters of respondents surfaced from these factors, “Active Benefit Seekers” and “Loners.“ The “Active Benefit Seekers,” although highly educated, were not as educated as “Loners” and virtually always traveled with family and friends. They wanted to escape to a highly social environment that includes an educational theme. The “Loners” were very highly educated and some traveled alone. While interested in educational issues, they had little need to escape daily life and were not interested in meeting new people or being with family and friends. A demographic profile of these segments was also developed.

Keywords: Benefits sought; Fact; Key words: Heritage tourism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0429 2: †Department of Exercise Science and Leisure Management, 226 Turner Center, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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