Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in travel, tourism and leisure"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors


Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have become critical topics in our social discourse and essential enablers in our everyday life (e.g., Devlin, 2018; Tegmark, 2017). Indeed, activities in the travel, tourism and leisure domain are increasingly reliant upon technologies that can understand, anticipate and act upon human needs in order to improve the personal experience and wellbeing and firm performance (Gretzel, 2011). In travel and tourism, Internet-based tools such as recommender systems and chatbots have been developed to provide personalized, location-based, context-aware information services and customer support (Ricci, 2002; Fesenmaier et al., 2006). These tools are becoming increasingly pervasive in commercial applications due to the diffusion of the smartphone and social media, the emergence of big data, and the advancement of machine learning techniques. Equipped with AI-based technology, voice-activated tools such as Alexa and Google Home have been introduced into our homes to assist our everyday life and leisure activities and increasingly penetrate hospitality and transportation spaces to facilitate experience (co-)creation and customer service delivery during travel. A variety of robotic tools have been adopted by hospitality operators, museums, theme parks and the transportation sector to provide novel experiences, enhance service quality, and improve business processes and productivity (Tung & Au, 2018).

Research on AI and robotics in travel, tourism and leisure is not necessarily new (e.g., in the case of recommender systems). While these technologies vary a great deal in terms of the level of sophistication, intelligence, automation and sociability, they have grown to permeate many aspects of travel, tourism and leisure. Importantly, smart tourism development efforts around the world enable AI and robotics to be connected to physical infrastructure and other intelligent objects (Gretzel et al., 2015), giving agency and, importantly, autonomy and market power to intelligent machines (Verhoef et al., 2017). As a result, AI and robotics are rapidly transforming the way businesses operate and engage with their customers, while they also present many opportunities and challenges in value creation, industry structure and operations within the travel, tourism and leisure context (Ivanov et al., 2017; Murphy et al., 2017).

Central issues and themes

The goal of this special issue is to create a platform for multidisciplinary research on AI and robotics within the travel, tourism and leisure context. Specifically, we invite papers that evolve around the following (but not limited to) Topics:

  • Conceptual and theoretical foundations for AI and robotics research in travel, tourism and leisure
  • AI/robotics-enabled travel, tourism and leisure-related e-commerce and e-markets
  • Virtual/AI-influencers and the future of travel, tourism and leisure marketing
  • Human-machine interactions in travel, tourism and leisure contexts
  • AI-facilitated smart tourism and electronic solutions for travelers and destinations
  • Methodological opportunities and issues in AI and robotics research for travel, tourism and leisure
  • Innovative business models for AI and robotics in the travel, tourism and leisure Industry
  • Impacts of AI and robotics on labor and human resources in the travel, tourism and leisure Industry
  • Legal and ethical issues in AI and robotics for travel, tourism and leisure
  • Global perspectives on AI and robotics applications and practices in travel, tourism and leisure

We encourage contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research. Please also consider that position papers and case studies might be especially suited for this special issue. All papers should fit the scope of Electronic Markets (for more information see and will undergo a double-blind peer review process. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special issue, please contact the guest Editors.


Electronic Markets is a Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)-listed journal (IF 3.553 in 2018) and seeks original contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches. All papers should fit the journal’s scope (see and will undergo a double blind, peer review process. Submissions must be made via the journal’s submission system at and comply with the journal's formatting standards (see instructions and templates at The preferred average article length is approximately 8,000 words, excluding references. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this special issue, you may either contact the guest editors or the Editorial Office. 


Devlin, K. (2018). Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Fesenmaier, D. al (Eds.). (2006). Destination recommendation systems: Behavioral foundations and applications. Cabi.

Gretzel, U. (2011). Intelligent systems in tourism: A social science perspective. Annals of tourism research, 38(3), 757-779.

Gretzel, U. et al. (2015). Smart tourism: foundations and developments. Electronic Markets, 25(3), 179-188.

Ivanov, S. H. et al. (2017). Adoption of robots and service automation by tourism and hospitality companies.

Murphy, J. et al. (2017). Dawning of the age of robots in hospitality and tourism: challenges for teaching and research. European Journal of Tourism Research, 15, 104-111.

Ricci, F. (2002). Travel recommender systems. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 17(6), 55-57.

Tegmark, M. (2017). Life 3.0: Being human in the age of artificial intelligence. Knopf.

Tung, V. W. S., & Au, N. (2018). Exploring customer experiences with robotics in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 30(7), 2680-2697.

Verhoef, P. C. et al. (2017). Consumer connectivity in a complex, technology-enabled, and mobile-oriented world with smart products. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 40, 1-8.