Designing persuasive destination websites: A mental imagery processing perspective

Woojin Lee, Ulrike Gretzel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    167 Scopus citations


    Existing research suggests that consumers' choices of vacations may be significantly influenced by mental imagery processing, which is considered to be high elaboration cognitive processing. This study first aimed to identify imagery-eliciting Web site features, and second to test their influence on persuasion-related outcomes such as attitude strength, confidence, and attitude resistance. A total of 252 subjects participated in a Web-based experiment to examine the influence of selected Web site features on individual imagery processing and its effect on consumers' attitudes and expectations. The data was analyzed primarily using a structural equation modeling methodology. Structural model results revealed that the mental imagery construct strongly influenced the measured communication effects. In terms of inducing mental imagery processing, only pictures were found to make a significant difference. The findings stress the importance of researching mental imagery processing in tourism and provide practical implications for the design of persuasive destination Web sites.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1270-1280
    Number of pages11
    JournalTourism Management
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 2012


    • Attitude confidence
    • Attitude resistance
    • Attitude strength
    • Mental imagery
    • Narrative text
    • Online-destination marketing
    • Pictures
    • Sound
    • Website features

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Development
    • Transportation
    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
    • Strategy and Management


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