Segmenting Western Australian national park visitors by perceived benefits: A factor-item mixed approach
International Journal of Tourism Research
School of Business and Law
Edith Cowan University
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd National park visitors are a significant tourist market that demonstrates heterogeneous visitation behaviors. Segmentation studies employing relevant criterion variables with reference to visitor behavior variables prove to be an effective way to better understand this tourist market. Employing a factor-item mixed segmentation approach, this study aims to segment Western Australian national park visitors by perceived benefits with reference to visitors' overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend, and pro-environmental behavior. Based on a sample of 324 on-site visitor survey responses, two perceived benefit factors, Nature Appreciation and Relaxation, and Learning, were identified. Subsequent cluster analysis using 12 original perceived benefit items identified two clusters: “moderate nature experiencers” (MNE) and “high nature appreciators and learners” (HNAL). No differences were found between the two clusters in visitor demographics and trip characteristics. However, HNAL members consistently exhibited higher levels of overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend, and pro-environmental behavior tendencies than members of MNE. Based on the findings, Australian national park managers should advocate both the nature and learning benefits in their future market communication and product development strategies.