Impulsive Stopping Decisions of the Traveling Public

Wansink, Brian and Koert van Ittersum (2004), “Stopping Decisions of Travelers,” Tourism Management, 25: (June), 319-330.

42 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2016 Last revised: 28 Apr 2017

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Cornell University

Koert van Ittersum

University of Groningen

Date Written: May 24, 2001


What makes travelers interrupt their journey and make a rather impulsive or unplanned stop at a particular travel facility? To gain an understanding of this stopping-decision process, a general stopping-decision framework is proposed and examined through three studies. Qualitative research in Study 1 supports the notion that stopping-decision processes generally begin with the identification of a need (such as gas or food), and conclude with the stop at a travel facility (such as travel plazas or rest areas). Study 2 uses a national panel survey to identify the traveler and trip-related characteristics that influence the stopping-decision process. Study 3 used a series of exit surveys to further examine the characteristics that influence travelers’ perceptions of travel plazas. The proposed framework can help operators of travel facilities gain a better understanding of what makes travelers interrupt their journey, how they decide which facility to visit, what they do at the facility, and how to attract them. These insights can be used to determine optimal locations for travel-facilities and what trade-offs should be made to develop facilities that attract travelers.

Keywords: Tourist behaviors; Intermediate stopping places; Tourist decisions; Travel stops; Conjoint analysis; Stopping decisions; Travel plazas; Hedonic and utilitarian

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and van Ittersum, Koert, Impulsive Stopping Decisions of the Traveling Public (May 24, 2001). Wansink, Brian and Koert van Ittersum (2004), “Stopping Decisions of Travelers,” Tourism Management, 25: (June), 319-330., Available at SSRN:

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

Koert Van Ittersum

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics