The aim of this study is to examine cruise passengers' characteristics, preferences and their overall experience in a port of call. Based on 1,361 survey data collected from passengers in the port of call of Cartagena, during the third quarter of 2009, a three-step multivariate market segment analysis is employed. First, a correspondence analysis is run to reveal the underlying factors in the data; second, based on the correspondence analysis, a hierarchical cluster investigation is performed to segment the sample into homogeneous groups; third, a decision tree is computed to characterise each group. The cluster analysis identifies six distinct market segments differentiated by nationality, satisfaction, safety perception and expenditure. The findings imply several policy directions. In particular, institutions should enhance the perception of safety in Cartagena to guarantee repeated visits, an ad hoc marketing policy may encourage revisit by young South Americans, and managers should extend the inland visiting time that is likely to produce local multiplier effects.
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