Publication Details

Dolnicar, S & Leisch, F, Winter tourist segments in Austria - Identifying stable vacation styles using bagged clustering techniques, Journal of Travel Research, 2003, 41(3), 281-292. Copyright Sage Publications Ltd 2003. This article won the Charles R. Goeldner Article of Excellence Award for the best paper in the Journal of Travel Research 2003.


Market segmentation is a very popular and broadly accepted way of increasing profitability. The number of reports published on a posteriori market segmentation studies has rapidly increased since Russel Haley’s milestone publication on benefit segmentation in 1968. Nevertheless, it is common practice in market segmentation to use a single segmentation base only, thus choosing the main dimensions of interest a priori, and to run a single calculation of a single algorithm, which dramatically increases the chance of building an entire marketing plan on a random solution of the algorithm chosen. The application presented constructs winter vacation styles on the basis of Austrian Guest Survey data, avoiding both weaknesses mentioned before. Through the replicative framework provided by bagged clustering, potentially suboptimal random solutions are avoided. Independent partitioning of vacation activities and travel motives leads to more holistic market segments. By looking for over- and under-representation of all combinations of the behavioral and psychographic segmentation, vacation styles are identified and studied in detail.



Link to publisher version (DOI)