Abstract: Despite mounting evidence suggesting a growing market overall and a widespread desire for experiential trips centred on the ambient attributes of environments, very little is known about the preferences of domestic four wheel drive (4WD) leisure travellers for trips which incorporate different environments such as deserts, alpine, beach and outback areas. With evidence emerging of segments in 4WD tourism markets, destinations currently have no basis for differentiating the environment-related aspirations of 4WD travellers, leaving tourism stakeholders with insufficient evidence-based knowledge for effective marketing and product development activities. This paper reports on research addressing this including surveys of 640 4WD enthusiasts and examination of an existing secondary dataset. The findings suggest consumers are relatively 'locked-in' to particular environment types and, as a group, consider all environments to be favourable for 4WD trips. The implications for destinations and tourism development agencies are that innovative and targeted development and marketing activities which leverage the environment's points of difference in line with traveller preferences are necessary for growing the market and maximising potential economic gains for localised economies.
Notes: Proceedings are electronic. Paper number 67