Progress on Robotics in Hospitality and Tourism: A Review of the Literature
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Forthcoming
35 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 16, 2019
Purpose: Provides a comprehensive review of research on robotics in travel, tourism and hospitality. Identifies research gaps and directions for future research.
Design/methodology/approach: Analyzes 131 publications published during 1993-2019 identified via Scopus, Web of Science, ResearchGate, Academia.edu and Google Scholar. This includes quantitative analysis of frequencies and cross-tables, and qualitative thematic analysis of the publications within each of seven identified domains.
Findings: Identifies ‘Robot’, ‘Human’, ‘Robot manufacturer’, ‘Travel / tourism / hospitality company’, ‘Servicescape’, ‘External environment’, and ‘Education, training and research’ as research domains. Most research is dedicated to robots in restaurants, airports, hotels and bars. Papers tend to apply engineering methods, but experiments and surveys grow in popularity. Asia-Pacific countries account for much of the empirical research.
Research limitations/implications: The analysis was limited to publications indexed in 4 databases and 1 search engine. Only publications in English were considered. Growing opportunities for those who are anxious to publish in the field are identified. Importantly, emerging research is branching out from the engineering of robots to the possibilities for human/robot interactions and their use for service providers, opening up new avenues of research for tourism and hospitality scholars.
Practical implications: The paper identified a myriad of application areas for robots across various tourism and hospitality sectors. Service providers must critically think about how robots affect the servicescape and how it needs to be adjusted or re-imagined to ensure that robots and employees can augment the service experiences (co-)created within it.
Originality/value: First study to systematically analyze research publications on robotics in travel, tourism and hospitality.
Keywords: Robotics, Robonomics, Robot Design, Robot Adoption, Servicescape, rService, Human-Robot Interaction, Research Agenda
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation