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Tourism advertising between AI and cultural background

February 1, 2024

Ilona Pezenka, Senior Researcher at the Department of Communication at FHWien der WKW, presented recent research results on the relevance of cultural background in tourism advertising videos at the international ENTER conference. The annual conference of the International Federation for Information Technology and Travel and Tourism (IFITT) took place in Izmir (Turkey) in January 2023.

Under the motto “Challenging the Next 30 Years of Tourism”, scientists and practitioners from around the world discussed the challenges and consequences of the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The conference emphasized the growing importance of AI – especially for communication, marketing and sales in the tourism industry.

Facial expression analysis of emotional reactions

The focus of Ilona Pezenka’s presentation was on human emotions that are analyzed with the help of AI. She presented the study “Cross-Cultural Differences in Emotional Response to Destination Commercials”, which she co-authored with Christian Weismayer (Modul University). In this study, the researchers investigated whether cultural characteristics lead to different types of emotions when viewing advertisements for tourist destinations. With the help of a facial expression analysis, which was carried out with the WebAnalyticsLab of FHWien der WKW, the authors were able to record different emotional reactions of the participants.

Finally, possibilities for a meaningful analysis of such data were presented. As facial expression analysis is a relatively new method for measuring emotions, there are hardly any established methods to fall back on. It is therefore important to demonstrate methods that enable simple interpretation of this type of data.

The results of this study will not only help researchers to analyze facial expressions. They also show how important the cultural background of the target audience is for tourism destinations when designing advertising videos.

The conference proceedings will be published soon by Springer Verlag (open access).