Measuring an optimal customer experience with online hotel reservations – An application of the flow theory



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Flow, also called optimal state of experience, is a mental state in which people feel good and forget about everything else. Although the flow theory has been widely applied and studied in various fields over the last few decades, it has not yet been applied to the area of online hotel booking. In this study, the researcher proposed and tested three theoretical models that integrated the flow theory with the theory of planned behavior and the technology acceptance model. This study focused on the antecedents and the consequences of the online flow experience in the context of hotel booking websites. A total of 510 completed surveys were collected using Data analyses included the normality check, descriptive statistics, measurement model test, and structural equation modeling validation. The antecedents of the flow experience were found to be perceived skill, perceived challenge, interactive speed, focus attention, importance (involvement), telepresence, time distortion, playfulness, and perceived ease of use. The consequences of the flow experience were found to be attitude, and perceived usefulness. In addition, the online flow experience was found to have an indirect positive effect on hotel booking intention. The key theoretical and managerial implications are discussed at the end of the study.



Flow experience, Hotel booking website, Intention