If you're happy, I'm happy: Emotion contagion at a tourist information center

Ondrej Mitas, Marcel Bastiaansen, Wilco Boode

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


An increasing body of research has addressed what a tourism experience is and how it should best be measured and managed. One conclusion has been to recommend observational methods such as facial expression analysis. The chapter uses facial expression analysis to determine whether the emotions of employees in the tourism industry affect the emotions of their customers, following a pattern of emotional contagion. The findings show that emotional valence and arousal are both contagious. Furthermore, the findings show that arousal is less contagious at a higher likelihood to recommend, likely due to higher employee arousal during approximately the middle third of their conversation. Furthermore, findings demonstrate that emotion measurement is now possible at reasonable convenience for the tourism industry and gives a unique insight into tourists' actual experiences that is more precise and valid than self-report alone, though with certain costs and stringent methodological limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanning and managing the experience economy in tourism
EditorsR Costa, F Brandão, Z Breda, C Costa
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Print)9781799887751
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • emotion
  • emotion contagion
  • facial expression
  • facial coding
  • psychology


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