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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM RESEARCH Int. J. Tourism Res. 5, 45±58 (2003) Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/jtr.417

Testing a Cultural Tourism Typology
Bob McKercher* and Hilary du Cros School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

ABSTRACT This paper tests further a cultural tourism typology based on the interface between centrality of cultural tourism as a trip motive and the depth of experience. Five types of cultural tourist are identi®ed that represent ®ve bene®t-based segments. The segments are tested against a variety of trip, demographic, motivational, preferred activity, awareness, cultural distance and activity variables. Signi®cant differences are noted between the groups, suggesting that the model presented may be effective in segmenting the cultural tourism market. Moreover, although the segmentation process is predicated on two variables, these variables are re¯ective of underlying trip motivation, activity preference and cultural distance factors noted between the different types of cultural tourist. Copyright # 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

experience to those people who were highly motivated to travel for cultural reasons and who subsequently had deep experiences. The model was tested empirically in a limited manner and it was discovered that each of the ®ve segments exhibited substantially different behaviour. This paper develops the tourism typology model further by testing the validity of the segments identi®ed against a wider range of trip, demographic, experiential, motivational, attitudinal and learning variables. CLASSIFYING CULTURAL TOURISTS BY CENTRALITY OF PURPOSE AND DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE Marketing theory argues that every market consists of groups or segments of customers with different needs and wants (Kotler, 1999). Customers who react in a homogeneous way, be it in their motivations, behaviour, reactions to marketing activities, or the bene®ts they seek from consuming products and services can be grouped (Sollner and Rese, 2001), enabling products to be developed that can more effectively satisfy the differing needs of each segment. Segments are only meaningful if they help an organisation better match its products with it target markets (Mitchell and Wilson, 1998). The operationalisation challenge is to ®nd a means of identifying discrete market segments while working within the ®nancial and skills limits of the organisation. If all markets can be segmented, then, it stands to reason that the cultural tourism market should be no different. In the absence of more discriminating variables, researchers sought to identify differences between cultural tourists and other tourists using demographic variables (Richards, 1996; Blackwell, 1997; Miller, 1997; Kemmerling Clack, 1999). But a number of authors (Prentice et al., 1998; Copyright # 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: cultural tourism, segmentation, Hong Kong. INTRODUCTION

A

cultural tourism typology model using centrality of purpose and depth of experience as the core dimensions was proposed in this journal (see McKercher, 2002). Five types of cultural tourist were identi®ed in that study, ranging from those people for whom culture played no role in their decision to travel and who had a shallow

*Correspondence to: B. McKercher, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. E-mail: hmbob@polyu.edu.hk

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B. McKercher and H. du Cros

Figure 1. A cultural tourist typology

Frochot and Morrison, 2000) argue that because tourism is experiential and that experience is sought by groups of tourists across socio-demographic strata, bene®t segmentation may be more applicable than strict sociodemographic segmentation. To a large extent, though, much research into cultural tourism is still focused on using socio-demographic variables (Bowen, 1998; Prentice...
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