Market segmentation is an expanding focus in tourism scholarship. Only limited application of this concept has been undertaken to interpret hotel business development, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This article shows that in South Africa, one of Africa’s leading tourism destinations, market segmentation has been a distinguishing feature of the country’s hotel sector especially over the past 20 years. It is argued that as post-apartheid South Africa shed its international pariah status and emerged as a new destination in the international tourism economy, the national tourism industry experienced a phase of considerable restructuring. The growth and subsequent acceleration of market segmentation in South Africa’s hotel industry is one outcome of the country’s reintegration into the global tourism economy which facilitated a range of new upgrading opportunities for business development and property investment.
Key words: Hotels, segmentation, South Africa, tourism.
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