THE CONSUMER CHOICE OF TOURISM PRODUCTS SUSTAINABLE CRITERIA FOR MARKET SEGMENTATION

Authors

Keywords
tourist market, market segmentation, segmentation criteria, cluster analysis, Bulgarian tourists.

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to empirically identify relevant and sustainable criteria for segmentation of Bulgarian consumers of tourism products in the process of making purchasing decisions. The study draws on original data gathered through an online survey of 898 Bulgarians, which was analysed using a range of statistical tests. Segmentation was performed using cluster analysis (hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering). The analysis suggests that Bulgarian consumers of tourism products can be adequately and consistently segmented on the basis of five criteria: (1) their preferred mode of travel, (2) mode of planning and organising tourist trips, (3) the type of tourism they prefer, (4) the budget they normally spent for tourism and (5) their preferences regarding used sources of information. The market segments identified are directly related to a specific aspect of consumer choice in the purchase decision process. The results of this study can be used by providers of tourism services (tour operators, travel agencies, etc.) when defining the parameters of the tourist services they offer in order to influence consumer choice in the purchasing decision process.

JEL: M31, Z33, L83, C19
Pages: 18

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