Sunk Costs and Travel Cancellation: Focusing on Temporal Cost

Jeong-Yeol Park, University of Central Florida
SooCheong (Shawn) Jang


Tourism products differ from ordinary retail products in terms of the spatial and temporal separation between the purchase and experiencing the product. Despite its importance, temporal separation has not drawn much attention in tourism research. The main objective of this study is to understand the effects of temporal sunk costs on potential travelers' cancellation intentions, in addition to monetary sunk costs. The results of this study suggested the possibility that temporal costs can be converted into monetary costs, but the conversion relationship may not be linear. This study also indicated that travelers' intentions to cancel a travel product decreased as the temporal and monetary sunk costs increased. Further, prior experience moderated the relationship when temporal sunk costs were involved, suggesting that repeat visitors' intentions to cancel their reservations are more influenced by temporal sunk costs than first-time visitors. Further discussion and implications are provided in the main body of this paper.