Visual information is very important in human perceiving of the surrounding world. During the observation of the considered scene, some image parts are more salient than others. This fact is conventionally addressed using the regions of interest approach. We are presenting an approach that captures the saliency information per pixel basis using one continuous saliency map for a whole image and which is directly used in the lossy image compression algorithm. Although for the encoding/decoding part of the algorithm, the notion region is not necessary anymore; the resulting method can, due to its nature, efficiently emulate large amounts of regions of interest with various significance. We provide reference implementation of this approach based on the set partitioning in hierarchical trees (SPIHT) algorithm and show that the proposed method is effective and has potential to achieve significantly better results in comparison to the original SPIHT algorithm. The approach is not limited to SPIHT algorithm and can be coupled with, e.g., JPEG 2000 as well.