An Eye-Tracking Study of Tourism Photo Stimuli: Image Characteristics and Ethnicity
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As tourism's intangibility leads tourism marketers to rely heavily on visuals such as photographic images, the selection of visual stimuli that attract the target audience's attention is critical. This study used a triangulated approach that included both self-reports and observational eye-tracking data. Australian and Chinese participants were recruited to view a series of photographic tourism images that depicted either high or low arousal activities and natural or built environments. Australian participants fixated more frequently, and for longer durations, than Chinese. Fixation also varied with the image conditions, with the Chinese group having particularly low fixation durations and counts for the low arousal or natural condition. This study fills the void in visual attention research in tourism and presents a novel approach to understanding the appeal of tourism images to potential tourists.
Journal of Travel Research
© 2014 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.