Segment transformation in urban tourism

Robert Douglas McKercher

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study tests the proposition that market segments transform unevenly as distance from the source increases. It builds on distance decay theory by extending the concept to a sub-market or segment-specific level. To date, no research has examined the transformation of market segments with distance. The study examines outbound travel by Hong Kong residents to urban destinations in 11 countries/territories. The study reveals that the aggregate market profile changes with distance, becoming generally older, more affluent and better educated. However, analysis of share differential of six segments identified through Cluster analysis reveals substantial differences between them. Two segments show evidence of segment decay, two show evidence of segment emergence, one shows a polarized segment transformation structure and another shows no relationship between share and distance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1225
Number of pages11
JournalTourism Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Distance decay
  • Market segmentation
  • Segment decay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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