Traveler Geographic Origin and Market Segmentation: Classification Models for International Visitors
Heidi H. Sung, Division of Hotel, Restaurant, Sports, Travel and Tourism, College of Professional Studies
Kaye Chon, Professor and Head, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Geographic information has long been suggested as a major segmentation base in traditional consumer marketing management. This study attempts to investigate varying patterns of travel behavior across different geographic origins. Employing airport exit interviews to survey international travelers (N=1,814) from seven major source markets to Hong Kong; the survey instrument used traveler geographic origin as a key instrument. The study examines how traveler socio-demographics, trip characteristics, and perception factors significantly vary with geographic origin, emphasizing this instrument for the meaningful segmentation purpose. The results of logit analysis propose structural models to classify the inbound travel market to Hong Kong into distinct traveler subgroups from different origins. Implications of the classification models are discussed to help providers and marketers better understand international travelers and formulate strategies to effectively pinpoint and cater to target segments.
traveler geographic origin, market segmentation, classification models, international tourism, Hong Kong
This research was in part funded by Summer Support of Research in 2006, and a full-length research article is currently being developed for research publication consideration. (Target Journal: Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly or Tourism Management)