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Improving the service industry with hyper-connectivity: IoT in hospitality

Suat Mercan (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Lisa Cain (Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Kemal Akkaya (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Mumin Cebe (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Selcuk Uluagac (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Miguel Alonso (Computer Science Department, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Cihan Cobanoglu (Muma College of Business, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Sarasota, Florida, USA and National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 8 December 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Internet of Things (IoT) adoption is a differentiating factor in the hospitality industry which facilitates the integration of the digital and real world. This paper aims to explore academic research and practical applications of IoT in the hospitality domain to help identify opportunities and challenges with implementing the technology for creating competitive advantages and service operations process improvements.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses previous works and exemplars to demonstrate the use of IoT in hospitality. Academic indexing websites such as Google Scholar and ScienceDirect are used to search for related terms. Whitepapers, IoT project websites of service providers and media coverage are accessed to collect information. Related work is investigated by classifying into major categories of hospitality.

Findings

Hospitality is one of the leading industries that has adopted IoT to create innovative services, but this topic has not been investigated deeply. A comprehensive study is needed to give guidance to decision-makers and helps to design better services by presenting practical and potential benefits.

Practical implications

The IoT will usher in great opportunities in hospitality by enabling novel applications for customization and personalization of the services. Operational processes will be redefined for efficiency and speed. It will alter the expectations and servicescape; thus, its integration will be vital in terms of competitiveness and success.

Originality/value

This study provides a comprehensive overview of IoT research and applications in the hospitality domain. It contributes to better understanding of recent trends and potentials. A holistic approach was used instead of focusing on a single sector which enables the consideration of all aspects of the topic. Theoretical support in addition to technical aspects, challenges and concerns are offered to the reader.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by Cisco Silicon Valley Foundation. However, there is no a fund number.

Citation

Mercan, S., Cain, L., Akkaya, K., Cebe, M., Uluagac, S., Alonso, M. and Cobanoglu, C. (2021), "Improving the service industry with hyper-connectivity: IoT in hospitality", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 243-262. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2020-0621

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited