Overnight ecotourism market segmentation in the Gold Coast hinterland of Australia
Very little is known about the characteristics of overnight ecolodge patrons. This study reports on the results of a questionnaire that was completed by 1,180 individuals who had stayed at least one night in either of two well-known ecolodges in Lamington National Park, Australia. A cluster analysis on 37 items pertaining to ecotourism behavior revealed three distinct groups. “Harder” ecotourists reflect a high level of environmental commitment and affinities with wildernesstype experiences, while “softer” ecotourists are much less committed on either dimension. “Structured” ecotourists, by comparison, reveal a strong pattern of commitment but a level of desire for interpretation, escorted tours, and services/facilities that is usually more associated with masstourism. The marketing implications of these findings are considered.
Journal of Travel Research