Segmenting the U.S. market for pleasure travel to Europe

Date of publication: May 4, 1988

Company: Ogilvy

Author: Edward Berrol


American travel to Europe, having hovered around the four million mark for half a dozen years, took off in 1984 and appears to be reaching for a new plateau at around the six million level. Thus, on sheer size alone, this market deserves to be examined analytically, with a view to possible segmentation into a number of sub-segments that might be dealt with more purposively and economically by the travel marketer. If we could distinguish discrete segments in this overall market for travel abroad, we might assess the value of each in terms of size, resources and propensity to travel, so that the marketer could decide whether or not to make it part of his target audience. Having identified a segment and evaluated it, we could then examine its salient travel attitudes, concerns and predispositions, thus helping to guide the creation of products and messages to suit the needs of that particular segment. By identifying the segment members demographically and delineating their preferred media and information gathering habits, we can assist the marketer in determining how best to reach a chosen segment with his message. Such an effort to segment the U.S. market for travel abroad was undertaken by the European Travel Commission.

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