Title: Understanding the heritage tourist market segment

Authors: Edmund Goh

Addresses: Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, 1 Chambers Road, Leura, NSW 2780, Australia

Abstract: The present paper aims to investigate tourists| perception and brand image associations of heritage destinations as a form of leisure activity. The established behaviour theory [theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991)] was utilised as the key theoretical framework to investigate tourists| perceptions toward participating in heritage tourism activities in Australia and identify brand image associations of heritage destinations. Data collection methods included questionnaire surveys, interviews and focus groups. Sixty-nine respondents participated in the research. Results indicate that tourists were motivated differently when deciding to visit heritage sites. Furthermore, functional, symbolic, experiential associations and overall brand attitudes were identified as key brand image associations toward heritage destinations.

Keywords: heritage tourism; brand image associations; branding; established behaviour theory; theory of planned behaviour; TPB; market segmentation; heritage destinations; Australia; leisure marketing; tourism marketing; tourist perceptions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLTM.2010.029589

International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 2010 Vol.1 No.3, pp.257 - 270

Published online: 30 Nov 2009 *

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