The purpose of this study is to investigate the information search behavior of visitors according to various socio‐demographic and travel‐related variables regarded as a criterion for market segmentation.
The data were based on a survey carried out with the cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the State Institute of Statistics in 2001. The study findings were analyzed by employing two statistical techniques: χ2 and a correspondence analysis.
An overview of the study findings indicates that the individuals visiting Turkey are provided with information from a range of sources. The information sources accessed seem to vary according to the level of the respondents' education level and purpose of their visit.
Through the research findings, it cannot be denied that the information sources have an impact on visitors' decision‐making process in choosing the specific place or facility to spend their limited time. This impact may vary from one person to another according to their different social groups.
Based on six groups of external information sources, the study provides marketing implications for the tourism authorities to segment their target markets.
The paper suggests that, in addition to other social and psychological factors, service providers can also segment their customers and tailor their marketing strategies based on visitors' intentions of using information sources prior to, or during, their vacations.
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