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Market Segmentation using Bagged Fuzzy C–Means (BFCM): Destination Image of Western Europe among Chinese Travellers


  • Pierpaolo D'Urso

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, La Sapienza, Roma, Italy)

  • Girish Prayag

    () (Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

  • Marta Disegna

    () (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, School of Economics and Management, Italy.)

  • Riccardo Massari

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, La Sapienza, Roma, Italy)


Market segmentation offers several strategic and tactical advantages to marketers. Hierarchical and non-hierarchical segmentation methods have several weaknesses but remain widely applied in tourism studies. Alternative segmentation methods such as fuzzy, mixture models, and Bagged Clustering are relatively less popular. In this study, we propose a novel method, the Bagged Fuzzy C–Means (BFCM) algorithm, for segmenting tourism markets. A sample of 328 Chinese travellers revealed the existence of four segments (Admirers, Enthusiasts, Moderates, and Apathetics) of perceived images for Western Europe. BFCM is able to identify stable clusters, inheriting this feature from Bagged clustering method. Furthermore, fuzzy allocation allows to idetify travellers whose profiles match with more than one cluster. Destination marketers need to proactively manage the image of Western Europe to attract the increasingly discerning Chinese traveller. Information provision and on-line presence strategies will be critical for destination success.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierpaolo D'Urso & Girish Prayag & Marta Disegna & Riccardo Massari, 2013. "Market Segmentation using Bagged Fuzzy C–Means (BFCM): Destination Image of Western Europe among Chinese Travellers," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS13, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps13

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    1. repec:eee:touman:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:35-45 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Bagged Clustering; Fuzzy C–means; Chinese travellers; Tourism market segmentation; Western Europe; Likert–type scales; fuzzy coding.;

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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