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The role of photograph aesthetics on online review sites: Effects of management- vs. traveler-generated photos on tourists’ decision-making

The role of photograph aesthetics on online review sites: Effects of management- vs. traveler-generated photos on tourists’ decision-making
The role of photograph aesthetics on online review sites: Effects of management- vs. traveler-generated photos on tourists’ decision-making
Tourists searching for information about destinations on online review sites are
concurrently exposed to two different photograph aesthetics, professional (produced by destination managers) and amateur (generated by travelers). While the former is glossy and sharp, the latter is often grainy and overexposed. Although aesthetics are important factors in tourist decision-making, the effects of the exposure to both types of photo aesthetics remain largely unexamined. This research investigates how both types of aesthetics, either singularly or in combination, affect a destination’s visual appeal and tourists’ booking intentions
through four controlled experiments (N = 1282). Our results show that despite the ‘messy’ beauty in amateur aesthetics, photos with professional aesthetics make a depicted destination
appear more visually appealing, ultimately driving booking intentions. However, the negative effects of amateur aesthetics are mitigated when (i) viewed by risk-averse tourists, (ii) presented alongside positive reviews, and (iii) accompanied by a greater number of professional photos.
Marder, Ben
6c556d4a-af17-4625-b03b-fe84159fdf2d
Erz, Antonia
f0fa9fc3-2a65-4efb-94c9-e04b33554130
Angell, Robert
ca8389e4-2a83-43a8-b331-c262eda37674
Plangger, Kirk
a6b1307b-36dd-48da-a9c0-acd3ec4604c2
Marder, Ben
6c556d4a-af17-4625-b03b-fe84159fdf2d
Erz, Antonia
f0fa9fc3-2a65-4efb-94c9-e04b33554130
Angell, Robert
ca8389e4-2a83-43a8-b331-c262eda37674
Plangger, Kirk
a6b1307b-36dd-48da-a9c0-acd3ec4604c2

Marder, Ben, Erz, Antonia, Angell, Robert and Plangger, Kirk (2019) The role of photograph aesthetics on online review sites: Effects of management- vs. traveler-generated photos on tourists’ decision-making. Journal of Travel Research. (doi:10.1177/0047287519895125).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Tourists searching for information about destinations on online review sites are
concurrently exposed to two different photograph aesthetics, professional (produced by destination managers) and amateur (generated by travelers). While the former is glossy and sharp, the latter is often grainy and overexposed. Although aesthetics are important factors in tourist decision-making, the effects of the exposure to both types of photo aesthetics remain largely unexamined. This research investigates how both types of aesthetics, either singularly or in combination, affect a destination’s visual appeal and tourists’ booking intentions
through four controlled experiments (N = 1282). Our results show that despite the ‘messy’ beauty in amateur aesthetics, photos with professional aesthetics make a depicted destination
appear more visually appealing, ultimately driving booking intentions. However, the negative effects of amateur aesthetics are mitigated when (i) viewed by risk-averse tourists, (ii) presented alongside positive reviews, and (iii) accompanied by a greater number of professional photos.

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The role of photograph aesthetics on online review sites - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 13 November 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 December 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437165
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437165
PURE UUID: 9fe39e05-c7cb-4d79-82f1-6fb0677409fd

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Date deposited: 20 Jan 2020 17:33
Last modified: 06 Feb 2020 17:33

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