George Ekonomou, Christos Neofitou & Steriani Matsiori
University of Thessaly
AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MARKET SEGMENTS OF COASTAL VISITORS: EVIDENCE FROM GREECE
Coastal vistors’ interests are important components for implementing effective tourism plans and establishing thorough coastal tourism management. Factor analysis was implemented in view of eliciting respondents’ judgments concerning destination choice attributes and features. Based on factor scores, cluster analysis was then implemented as a means of defining market segments that reflect consumers with similar needs. Eight factors were extracted while three distinct market segments were found: cost sensitive, demanding beach users and accommodation oriented visitors. The resulting segments, were compared on the basis of specific variables organized under the following framework: destination attributes, travel behaviour isuues and sociodemographic characteristics. Multiple discriminant analysis confirmed the validity of the cluster solutions. The research findings offer important implications for marketing purposes in light of experiencing sustainable regional coastal planning based on the defined segments.
Keywords: visitors, interests, segments, coastal tourism
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