Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Dolnicar, S, Fear segments in tourism, CD Proceedings of the 14th International Research Conference of the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), 1-5 February 2005, Australia.


This article proposes the investigation of fear segments in tourism. By doing so, a broadly accepted strategic marketing tool (market segmentation) is integrated with a topic that presently causes significant concern to the tourism industry: the impact of negative global events on tourism demand. The concept of psychographic segmentation is extended to a new construct of tourist psychographics: kinds of perceived fears associated with vacation travel. The academic relevance lies in the introduction of a novel segmentation base to tourism research, the practical value lies in the potential for improved target marketing, minimizing the risk of demand fluctuations. The concrete aims are to (1) gain understanding of the range and nature of fears tourists perceive, (2) investigate whether categories of perceived risk postulated in earlier studies are still valid for perceived fears in 2004, (3) investigate the existence of systematic fear patterns among individuals, and (4) propose a research agenda for the systematic future study of fear segments.