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Adoption of AI-based chatbots for hospitality and tourism

Rajasshrie Pillai (Department of Management, Pune Institute of Business Management, Pune, India)
Brijesh Sivathanu (Department of Management, Sri Balaji University, Pune, India)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 10 September 2020

Issue publication date: 14 October 2020

17055

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the customers’ behavioral intention and actual usage (AUE) of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots for hospitality and tourism in India by extending the technology adoption model (TAM) with context-specific variables.

Design/methodology/approach

To understand the customers’ behavioral intention and AUE of AI-powered chatbots for tourism, the mixed-method design was used whereby qualitative and quantitative techniques were combined. A total of 36 senior managers and executives from the travel agencies were interviewed and the analysis of interview data was done using NVivo 8.0 software. A total of 1,480 customers were surveyed and the partial least squares structural equation modeling technique was used for data analysis.

Findings

As per the results, the predictors of chatbot adoption intention (AIN) are perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived trust (PTR), perceived intelligence (PNT) and anthropomorphism (ANM). Technological anxiety (TXN) does not influence the chatbot AIN. Stickiness to traditional human travel agents negatively moderates the relation of AIN and AUE of chatbots in tourism and provides deeper insights into manager’s commitment to providing travel planning services using AI-based chatbots.

Practical implications

This research presents unique practical insights to the practitioners, managers and executives in the tourism industry, system designers and developers of AI-based chatbot technologies to understand the antecedents of chatbot adoption by travelers. TXN is a vital concern for the customers; so, designers and developers should ensure that chatbots are easily accessible, have a user-friendly interface, be more human-like and communicate in various native languages with the customers.

Originality/value

This study contributes theoretically by extending the TAM to provide better explanatory power with human–robot interaction context-specific constructs – PTR, PNT, ANM and TXN – to examine the customers’ chatbot AIN. This is the first step in the direction to empirically test and validate a theoretical model for chatbots’ adoption and usage, which is a disruptive technology in the hospitality and tourism sector in an emerging economy such as India.

Keywords

Citation

Pillai, R. and Sivathanu, B. (2020), "Adoption of AI-based chatbots for hospitality and tourism", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 10, pp. 3199-3226. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2020-0259

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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