AI ranks Lake Geneva one of Europe's most joy-inducing places

AI ranks Lake Geneva one of Europe's most joy-inducing places

While the prospect of better artificial intelligence usually strikes fear in the heart of anyone with a job associated with coding, teaching - and, err, writing - sometimes it can be amusing to see how the march of technology can be used for less world-changing purposes. Case in point, the travel site Casago has used AI to find out which of the world's tourist destinations spark the most joy, with one Swiss lake taking pride in place in the top 10 for Europe.

Which tourist attraction makes people happiest?

To create the ranking, Casago used artificial intelligence to analyse the 10 most popular attractions - according to TripAdvisor - in 100 different countries around the world, to see which ones spark the most joy. This was done by the AI scanning all the Instagram photos taken at each of the 1.000 sites, over 63.000 photos in total, and rating how much people smiled in each image on a scale of zero to 100.

According to the study, those seeking a joyful excursion should head to South America, with Manawakie Eco Nature Park in Honduras ranking as the tourist spot that makes people smile the most. According to their data, 76 percent of images analysed showed people "portraying happiness" while visiting the sloths, monkeys and other exotic wildlife on display.

Nature beats human-made attractions for happiness, AI finds

The Tobago Forest Reserve in Trinidad and Tobago and the Gumbalimba Park in Honduras rounded out the top three. Of those in the top 10, three are in North and Central America and four are in South America, while Africa, Asia and the Caribbean took one each. Europe’s closest entry was the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, which came 11th.

When it comes to things that make us smile, the Casago study made one thing clear: natural landscapes, scenery and animals tend to spark more joy than human-made attractions. This is perhaps why Europe's top attractions did not feature in the global top 10.

Lake Geneva one of the most joy-inducing sites in Europe

Moving to Europe, while the Cliffs of Moher (Ireland), Our Savior’s Church (Copenhagen, Denmark) and UFO Observation Deck (Bratislava, Slovakia) took the podium places for Europe, the top 10 featured a Swiss entry: Lake Geneva was named as the 9th-most happiness-inducing European attraction.

According to the study, 43,4 percent of images taken around the lake have people grinning from ear to ear - perhaps not surprising as the lake is home to many great cities like Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux, not to mention the imposing Castle Chillon. The westernmost lake in Switzerland actually fared better than many of Europe's more popular sites, with Lac Léman ranking 13 places above the Eiffel Tower in 22nd.

Attractions in the world that spark the most joy

In all, here are the places in the world that will make you happiest, according to AI:

  1. Manawakie Eco Nature Park (Honduras)
  2. Tobago Forest Reserve (Trinidad and Tobago)
  3. Gumbalimba Park (Honduras)
  4. Botanical Garden (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  5. Inca Trail (Peru)
  6. Pidurangala Rock (Sri Lanka)
  7. Parque das Aves (Brazil)
  8. Geyser del Tatio (Chile)
  9. Miradouro da Lua (Angola)
  10. Pacaya Volcano (Guatamala)

In addition, here are the 10 European attractions that will put the biggest smile on your face:

  1. Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
  2. Our Saviour’s Church (Denmark)
  3. UFO Observation Deck (Slovakia)
  4. Castelo de St. Jorge (Portugal)
  5. Fjellheisen Tromsø (Norway)
  6. Parc Guell (Spain)
  7. Boyana Church (Bulgaria)
  8. Danube River
  9. Lake Geneva (Switzerland)
  10. Prague Castle (Czechia)

For more information about how the ranking was calculated, and to see the other sites on the list, check out the Casago website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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