Benefit Segmentation Analysis of State Park Visitor Setting Preferences and Behavior


  • Stephen F. McCool
  • Michael Reilly


Benefit segmentation, state parks, visitor expenditures, economic impacts.


State parks are generally mandated to protect socially important natural and cultural values. Yet, the value of state parks as important components of a local economy is increasingly recognized in tourism development policies. Understanding the attractiveness of state parks to different tourist segments is a prerequisite to effective policy implementation. While segmenting a park's clients can be conducted in many different ways, this study used expected benefits from a visit to a park as the segmentation approach. Four benefit segments were identified: Enthusiasts, Group Naturalists, Nature Escapists, and Passive Players. The current study shows how the four benefit segments are associated with different evaluations of the park setting and visitor expenditure patterns. Such information allows managers and planners to identify, develop, and promote those aspects of a state park's setting that not only maintain its mission but are also attractive to visitors.





Regular Papers