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Stand by me: analyzing the tourist–intelligent voice assistant relationship quality

Sandra Maria Correia Loureiro (ISCTE-Instituto Univeritário de Lisboa and BRU-Business Research Unit, Lisbon, Portugal)
Arnold Japutra (Department of Marketing, Business School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Sebastian Molinillo (Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain)
Ricardo Godinho Bilro (ISCTE-Instituto Univeritário de Lisboa and BRU-Business Research Unit, Lisbon, Portugal)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 8 April 2021

Issue publication date: 17 November 2021




This paper aims to explore tourist perceived value and attachment to intelligent voice assistants (IVAs) as antecedents of the quality of the human–IVA relationship in the hospitality domain. This research also examines the moderating role of psychological factors (self-esteem) and knowledge factors (past experience and technology expertise) in the relationships between antecedents and relationship quality.


The researchers conducted two quantitative studies, collecting data via online surveys in Mechanical Turk (n1 = 124 and n2 = 281). The proposed model was tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling.


The first study uncovers that tourist perceived value is the main influence on the quality of the relationship between tourists and IVAs. The second study confirms the direct relationships of the first and shows that self-esteem and technology expertise act as moderators.

Practical implications

This study advances the understanding of the tourism and hospitality stakeholders in using modern technologies (e.g. IVAs). Through comprehending the relationship building between individuals and IVAs, the stakeholders will be able to craft better strategies.


The study extends the attachment and social exchange theories to the tourist–IVA relationship context. Specifically, this research demonstrates the impact of tourist perceived value on the quality of the relationship with the IVA. It also points out that tourists’ self-esteem and technology expertise can weaken the tourist–IVA relationship.



This work research is supported by the Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación de la Junta de Andalucía, Grupo SEJ-567 and by the Universidad de Málaga, Andalucía Tech, Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia (Spain).

The authors would like to thank the editors, particularly Carlos Flavian, reviewers and all of the participants at the AIRSI2019 conference at the University of Zaragoza for providing helpful comments that strengthened this manuscript. Correspondence about this article should be addressed to the first author.


Loureiro, S.M.C., Japutra, A., Molinillo, S. and Bilro, R.G. (2021), "Stand by me: analyzing the tourist–intelligent voice assistant relationship quality", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 11, pp. 3840-3859.



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