This paper aims to identify and cluster visitors to a premier South African cheese festival based on their motivation for attending the festival.
A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from visitors over the three days of the festival, in which 519 usable questionnaires were included in the analysis. Three stages of the analysis were employed: a factor analysis examining the visitors’ motivation to attend the festival, a cluster analysis based on the motives identified by the factor analysis and an analysis of significant differences between the different market segments.
The general profile of respondents was similar to the profile of culinary tourists found in other studies. Furthermore, five key motives were identified, of which this combination has not been previously identified in the literature. The cluster analysis identified three distinct clusters, with heterogeneous behavioural and socio-demographic profile identifiers.
The value that this market segmentation technique holds regarding the marketing and branding of a(n) event/festival is that it could help managers/marketers to promote better culinary events/festivals in South Africa, by offering unique attributes that attract culinary visitors.
To the authors’ knowledge, this study is a first attempt to segment culinary visitors based on motivational factors, especially within the South African context. Clustering based on motives proved to be a useful market segmentation tool and proposes a 3-S typology of visitors to food-related events/festivals, namely, social, serious and selective epicureans.
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from the National Research Foundation (NRF). The authors are also grateful to the organisers of the festival for allowing the research to be conducted. Our sincerest gratitude is also extended to all the fieldworkers who assisted with the survey as well as to all the respondents who formed part of the research.
Viljoen, A., Kruger, M. and Saayman, M. (2017), "The 3-S typology of South African culinary festival visitors", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 1560-1579. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2015-0464
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