Photos are means to communicate information. The ubiquity of smartphones and social media platforms allow nowadays the rapid exchange of images, and destination photos are no exception. Destination marketing experts need to understand these new sources of destination information to continue attracting tourists with success. Yet, destination image research incorporating pictorial content is scarce, and focused mainly on comparing content themes between destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and user generated content (UGS). However, the influence of different themes on intention to visit a destination is rarely addressed. This research aims to (1) identify those themes which are more effective in evoking intention to visit; and (2) expand the affective image understanding by incorporating different bipolar items than the ones traditionally used when studying destination image. This research used 36 photos from nine different themes to examine the relationship between cognitive image, affective image, and intention to visit Switzerland. From 278 responses, “Tradition”, “Nature”, and “F&B” were themes provoking higher levels of intention to visit. This research incorporated six affective image items, including stressful-relaxing, routine-adventure, ugly-breathtaking, uninspiring-inspiring, boring-exciting, and trapped-free; the results indicated that affective image was more influential than cognitive image on the variable intention to visit. This research contributes to academia by advocating the progress in image recognition which may free researchers from time consuming theme coding tasks, and move toward understanding the relationship between pictorial content and intention to visit. For practitioners, marketing campaign efforts should focus on themes identified above as they evoke higher intention to visit Switzerland.