Niche markets in Irish tourism: The case of North American coach tourists

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Ryan, Marie
Deegan, Jim
Moloney, Richard
Sjostrom, William
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Munster Technological University
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In 2010, 115,000 coach tourists came from North America to Ireland, averaging a length of stay of 9 nights. This paper applies factor analysis to a survey of North American coach tourists to Ireland (with 486 responses). It identifies the most significant factors that have common characteristics amongst the tourists. Factor analysis, although popular in tourism research, has never been applied to an inbound tourist market to Ireland, so this research fills an important gap in Irish segmentation research. The factor analysis of the survey identifies a number of important characteristics of this market. For example, the North American coach tourists are predominately under 65 years, are drawn to historical destinations, and active, with a strong preference for cycling and water sports. The findings in this paper suggest tourism policies can now be directed more precisely to cater for a specific type of coach tourist visiting Ireland rather than supplying a generic tourist product. Factor analysis shows that coach tour packages should be targeting a particular kind of tourist, not simply the generic tourist to Ireland.
Coach tourists , Segmentation analysis , Factor analysis , Niche markets , Irish tourism
Ryan, M., Deegan, J., Moloney, R. and Sjostrom, W. (2014) 'Niche markets in Irish tourism: The case of North American coach tourists', Irish Business Journal, 9(1), Article 7, pp. 94-114. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2024)