Visual attention toward tourism photographs with text: An eye-tracking study

Qian Li, Zhuowei Joy Huang, Kiel Christianson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines consumers' visual attention toward tourism photographs with text naturally embedded in landscapes and their perceived advertising effectiveness. Eye-tracking is employed to record consumers' visual attention and a questionnaire is administered to acquire information about the perceived advertising effectiveness. The impacts of text elements are examined by two factors: viewers' understanding of the text language (understand vs. not understand), and the number of textual messages (single vs. multiple). Findings indicate that text within the landscapes of tourism photographs draws the majority of viewers' visual attention, irrespective of whether or not participants understand the text language. People spent more time viewing photographs with text in a known language compared to photographs with an unknown language, and more time viewing photographs with a single textual message than those with multiple textual messages. Viewers reported higher perceived advertising effectiveness toward tourism photographs that included text in the known language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Eye-tracking
  • Heat maps
  • Perceived advertising effectiveness
  • Text
  • Tourism photographs
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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