Robots in Tourism: A Research Agenda for Tourism Economics

Tourism Economics (forthcoming).

25 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Stanislav Hristov Ivanov

Stanislav Hristov Ivanov

Zangador; Zangador Research institute; Varna University of Management (VUM)

Craig Webster

Ball State University

Date Written: 2020


The technological advances in artificial intelligence and robotics allow the massive introduction of service robots by travel, tourism and hospitality companies. While research on service robots in tourism is gaining momentum, the economic aspects of robots’ adoption have been quite neglected. This paper critically evaluates the current research on the economic aspects of service robots in tourism and the implications of robots for tourism economics as a field of research in three domains: tourism supply, tourism demand, and destination management. In that way, the paper delves into the economics of service robots from the perspectives of the tourism companies, the tourists, and the destinations as a whole. On the basis of this discussion, the paper identifies various research directions and develops specific research questions related to the adoption of robots in tourism that need to be answered by future research in tourism economics.

Keywords: robots, competitiveness, productivity, willingness to pay, production factors

Suggested Citation

Ivanov, Stanislav Hristov and Ivanov, Stanislav Hristov and Webster, Craig, Robots in Tourism: A Research Agenda for Tourism Economics (2020). Tourism Economics (forthcoming)., Available at SSRN:

Stanislav Hristov Ivanov (Contact Author)

Zangador ( email )

Varna, 9010


Zangador Research institute

Varna, 9010


Varna University of Management (VUM) ( email )

13 Oborishte Street
Varna, 9000
+359 898 680713 (Phone)


Craig Webster

Ball State University ( email )

2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie, IN 47306
United States

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