Introducing flow theory to explain the interactive online shopping experience in a travel context

Khaldoon Nusair, H. G. Parsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Online travel commerce has evolved significantly from the initial sales of less-complex products such as airline tickets, accommodations, and car rentals, to include more complex products like vacation packages and cruises. Many online travel portals, however, have fallen behind in terms of creating a compelling online environment for customers. Online shopping behavior is becoming increasingly complex with the evolution of experiential and utilitarian shopping practices. These two types of practices have a significant effect on the formation of a customer's attitude towards a Web site and eventual purchase intention. The proposed model delineates the customer's preference towards a Web site within experiential and utilitarian purchase contexts when flow variables control, cognitive enjoyment, and focus are involved. This article may help online travel businesses identify uniqueWeb features that satisfy the needs of both the experiential and utilitarian customer. Moreover, this model shows that a successful travel site could entice a utilitarian customer to engage in experiential site features that might result in positive attitude formation and consequent future revisits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer attitudes
  • E-commerce
  • Experiential
  • Flow theory
  • Online travel
  • Utilitarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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