An evaluation of how market segmentation approaches aid destination marketing

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Hanlan, J, Fuller, D & Wilde, SJ 2006, ‘An evaluation of how market segmentation approaches aid destination marketing’, Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 5-26.

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This paper examines techniques used to segment tourism markets and the associated problems of integrating findings into operational marketing tactics. The paper argues that many tourism segmentation studies focus on complex and sophisticated statistical analysis, overlooking the number of subjective decisions implicit in the process that are likely to influence the results and therefore need to be made transparent within research findings. Further, this paper argues that it is only at the "strategic level" that destinations can develop a sustainable competitive advantage within identified target markets, and therefore, segmentation studies must be driven by the strategic imperatives of the destination.

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