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Smart hospitality: from smart cities and smart tourism towards agile business ecosystems in networked destinations

Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University Business School, Poole, UK and School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China)
Peter O’Connor (UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Rosanna Leung (Department of International Tourism and Hospitality, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 18 October 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




Building on recent smart hospitality systematic reviews and extensive literature analyses, this paper aims to explore recent developments, themes and issues within smart hospitality. It synthesises existing knowledge, extrapolating forward and contributes to the future development of smart hospitality by serving as a reference to enrich academic/industry discussions and stimulate future research.


The research examined 8 recent review articles on smart hospitality and tourism and extracted 145 articles in peer-reviewed sources from Web of Science focussed on smart hospitality. These publications supported in-depth analysis to explore the body of knowledge and develop foresight for the future of smart hospitality within business ecosystems at tourism destinations. It synthesises knowledge and provides the basis for the development of a comprehensive in-depth research agenda in smart hospitality innovations as well as the formulation of agile hospitality ecosystems.


This paper illustrates that smart hospitality introduces disruptive innovations that affect the entire hospitality ecosystem. Smart hospitality takes advantage of smart cities and smart tourism towards establishing agile business ecosystems in networked destinations. Having reviewed the existing literature, the study developed a conceptual framework and introduced a comprehensive future research agenda. This includes the drivers of smart hospitality, namely, customer-centricity, personalisation, individualisation and contextualisation; marketing-driven hospitality excellence and metaverse; as well as operation agility, asset strategy, talent management and supplier interoperation. It also identified the foundations that provide the infostructure for smart hospitality, including ambient intelligence, big data, processes and sustainability, providing the capability blocks to co-create value for all stakeholders in the hospitality ecosystem.


This study conceptualises smart hospitality as a disruptive and innovative power that will affect the competitiveness of hospitality and tourism organisations as part of a comprehensive ecosystem. It identifies the key stakeholders and explores how they can take advantage of emerging developments. This paper proposes the drivers and foundation for future research on smart hospitality. The research provides a conceptual synthesis of the literature and the concepts that have been elaborated. The foundations are effectively the infostructure that enables the drivers to add value to different stakeholders. Key issues are identified to stimulate further research on the area to support smart hospitality development and adoption.



Buhalis, D., O’Connor, P. and Leung, R. (2023), "Smart hospitality: from smart cities and smart tourism towards agile business ecosystems in networked destinations", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 369-393.



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