Market Segmentation in Hospitality Industry

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Hospitality Market segmentation
Understanding the concept of market segmentation is essential to hospitality marketing. Marketers first segment the market prior to selecting specific target markets for their hospitality establishment. Market segmentation is the act of dividing a market into distinct and meaningful groups of buyers who might merit separate products and/or marketing mixes. Once careful thought has gone into market segmentation, marketers can then identify primary (and secondary) markets they wish to target. A major assumption in the practice of market segmentation is that the marketplace is comprised of heterogeneous groups of buyers, i.e., different groups of people have different needs and wants and, thus, are attracted to different product offerings accordingly.

In hospitality, the 'purpose of the trip' is a starting point for the segmentation process. We need to first consider whether people are primarily traveling for business purposes or for leisure purposes. Within each of these categories segments emerge. The following discussion highlights some of these major segments that marketers target in hospitality.  The business travel segment

The business traveler is looking for efficiency and effectiveness in a timely manner to conduct business away from home base. Major segments in business travelinclude individual, corporate, and the conference and convention market. Individual business travelers are essentially entrepreneurs who travel to conduct business on their own behalf. Independent business professionals such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, contractors, consultants, and the like (i.e., people who do not work in the corporate environment), are typically categorized in this market segment. They are the sole decision-maker on when, where, and how they travel to conduct their personal business. Whether these individuals operate a small- or medium-sized business, the specific purpose of the trip will impact their choice of budget,...
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