Tourist market segmentation. The “Best of Wandern” example

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (http://www.oecd.org) recently defined the challenges that the tourist industry will face in the following years in the “OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2010 ” report.

This document reflects that in order to face globalization, the tourist markets are changing and they will continue to do so. Some of the effects of these changes can be seen in the increasing fragmentation of the tourist markets and in the emerging and consolidation of new niche markets, such nature activities and active tourism. In addition, there is a common trend that is becoming more extended, which is the costumer’s search for unique and authentic experiences.

One of the examples is “Best of Wandern”  www.best-of-wandern.de/index.php/en. This is an association composed by regions of five German speaking European countries which aim to specialize and promote themselves as hiking destinations. The translation of the brand is “the best of hiking”. In the network there is also an online selling company of hiking material (PM Outdoor) and a travel agency (Der Tour).

The main goal of this association is to focus on the costumer: “The hiker is the center of attention of the network. The route must be exciting, the material has to be perfect and the journey must be unforgettable”.

The association enables a transversal cooperation between different fields with a segmented focus of the activities: families, youth, singles, major public. They offer products in different regions of these countries, as well as organizing events and editing specialized publications.

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