Key success factors of tourist market segmentation.
Descriptors: Marketing; market; market segmentation; tourist; tourism; promotion; promotional strategy; communication mix; promotional mix; destination marketing; competitiveness; competitive strategy; key success factors. The primary goal of this study was to determine the key success factors of tourist market segmentation, especially for South Africa as a tourism destination. Four objectives were derived from the primary research goal. The first objective was to analyse the key success factors of market segmentation by means of a literature study. This was achieved by developing a market segmentation process. In this regard it was found that market segmentation could be to the advantage of any destination and forms part of a long-term marketing strategy. Research plays an important role in market segmentation. It was also found that destinations need to consider different bases, methods and strategies to conduct the market segmentation process successfully. The second objective was to identify methods of selecting the right promotional methods for the right target market. A process was developed that could be followed in order to select promotion all methods effectively. The starting point of this process focuses on identifying the target market. In order to select the promotion method one needs to analyse the characteristics of each method. It was found that one needs to match the needs of the tourists and the above-mentioned characteristics in order to determine the appropriate promotion methods. The promotion schedule and creative elements are vitaI for successful implementation of the promotion process. The third objective was to reflect the results of the empirical research and to determine the key success factors. for market segmentation of South Africa as a tourist destination. It was achieved by identifying a study population (N=30) globally, namely the top 30 tourism destinations, as determined by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). It was found that market research, target marketing and the selection of adequate promotional tools as well as the forming of a positive image of the destination (positioning) are the key success factors for market segmentation. The fourth objective was to make recommendations for effective market segmentation. From the results it was recornmended that thorough research and market segmentation be done where after 2 to 3 primary markets and 4 to 5 secondary markets should be selected. Knowledge of these markets is important. With regard to promotion it is very important to have a proper budget in order to determine at what stage potential markets should be targeted properly. Marketers should know and understand the product Iifecycle for each target market to avoid segmenting the same market every year. The research also indicated that although a proper budget is useful, the emphasis remains on selecting the right markets and to be focused in promoting your destination.