Reducing visitor car use in a protected area: A market segmentation approach to achieving behaviour change

Article English OPEN
Stanford, DJ (2014)

This research uses a market segmentation approach to reducing transport-related environmental burdens from visitors, while maintaining economic benefit. The approach was tested in the Lake District National Park (UK). It aimed first to explore visitor transport behaviour using a social psychological framework, to understand what might best predict desired behaviour change (i.e. reduced visitor car use). Second, it developed and tested different types of marketing messages to reduce car use, based on persuasive communication theory, establishing marketing propositions appropriate to different visitor types and market segments. Third, it identified market segments with both a high propensity towards positive behavioural change and the highest economic contribution to the destination. The work is based on Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour and on persuasive communication. Three hundred and ninety completed questionnaires were obtained. The paper emphasises the importance of context in successful communication to influence behaviour and shows that a market segmentation approach to behavioural change can be successful. Complex patterns of visitor mobility and modal choice emerge. For example "New Explorers" and "Familiar Families" are most likely to reduce their car use (45% and 48% respectively) and less likely to perceive this as difficult. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
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