Publication Details

This paper was originally published as: Dolnicar, S & Schoesser, CM, Market Research in Austrian NTO and RTOs: Is the Research Homework Done Before Spending Marketing Millions? CD Proceedings of the 13th International Research Conference of the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE 2003).


In times of an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace and when experienced tourists are both capable and motivated to find the offer that best matches their personal vacation needs, market research becomes one of the fundamental building blocks of success, not only for the tourism industry, but also for a destination. The aim of this empirical study that follows the tradition of the studies by Yaman & Shaw (1998) and Ryan & Simmons (1999) is to explore both the importance of market research as perceived by the Austrian National Tourism Organisation (NTO) and the nine Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and the actual implementation of market research projects. For this purpose structured personal interviews were conducted with the market research managers of all RTOs and the Austrian NTO. Central findings include (1) underestimation of the importance of market research by these federal organisations, (2) minimal expenditures relative to operational advertising budgets, (3) a lack of formalized criteria for evaluation of market research needs and (4) a lack of co-ordination of market research and marketing departments.