Classification of Adventure Travelers: Behavior, Decision Making, and Target Markets (1)
Heidi H. Sung, Division of Hotel, Restaurant, Sports, Travel and Tourism, College of Professional Studies
Focusing on consumer and travel behavior of adventure travelers, this study proposes a classification of adventure travelers for segmenting the U. S. adventure travel market. A survey of adventure travelers (N=892) examined traveler characteristics, trip-related factors in the decision-making process, and perception of adventure travel. Cluster analysis identified six distinct adventure traveler subgroups as ‘general enthusiasts,’ ‘budget youngsters,’ ‘soft moderates,’ ‘upper high naturalists,’ ‘family vacationers,’ and ‘active soloists.’ Implications of the classified adventure traveler subgroup characteristics in conjunction with their perception of adventure travel and the involvement with adventure tourism establishments are discussed. The study findings will help adventure travel providers and marketers better understand adventure travelers and formulate strategies to cater to target segments effectively.
(1) Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 43 (1), May 2004, 343-356.