Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as Dolnicar, S and Leisch, F, Delivering the Right Tourist Service to the Right People: A Comparison of Segmentation Approaches, in Thyne, M and Laws, E (eds), Hospitality, Tourism, and Lifestyle Concepts: Implications for Quality Management and Customers Satisfaction, Haworth Hospitality Press, 2005, 189-207.


Market segmentation has developed to become a generally accepted and widely applied concept in strategic marketing. However, the gap between academic research aiming at increased sophistication of the methodology and managerial use has steadily increased. This paper takes the perspective of a destination manager and compares two segmentation approaches. One typically used in destination management (a priori geographical segmentation) and another one that is common in academic literature (a posteriori behavioural segmentation). The comparison emphasizes managerial usefulness (implying maximization of match between the tourists’ vacation needs and the destinations’ offer) and is illustrated with an empirical guest survey data set for Austria.