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Smart cruising: smart technology applications and their diffusion in cruise tourism

Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University Business School, Bournemouth, UK and School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China)
Alexis Papathanassis (Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven, Germany)
Maria Vafeidou (Onboarding Senior Executive, Navisyo, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 3 May 2022

Issue publication date: 12 July 2022




This paper aims to explore and discuss the impact of digital innovations from a business eco-systemic perspective. Key smart technology application themes in the cruise industry are extracted and synthesised in a “Smart Cruise Ecosystem” (SCE) framework.


Information communication technologies (ICTs) advancements and smart tools revolutionise interactions and affect all transactions, transforming the cruise experience. Gradually a Smart Cruise Ecosystem emerges by incorporating all technologies available and involving cruise passengers, who as smart actors interact dynamically with stakeholders, creating value before, during and after the cruising experience. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak stressed the need for touchless and digital interactions as well as real-time information, fast-tracking the deployment of smart technologies. The diffusion of ICTs in the cruise industry is multi-faceted and dynamic, resulting in a number of smart-technology use-cases.


Smart technology constitutes a comprehensive smart ecosystem to manage all actors, controls, devises and systems to optimise ship operations and management, while co-creating value for guests and crew in an effective way. The multiplex SCE proposed is enabled by digital technologies collecting, storing, accessing and processing big data dynamically, including: object detection, Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, satellite communications, Big Data, automation, robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learnin, Cloud Computing, Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality. A range of interoperable and interconnected supporting systems form the basis of the smart ecosystem.


The proposed framework offers a holistic perspective of the smart-cruising domain, highlighting innovations, interfaces, dependencies, along with the corresponding key limitations and challenges. The synthesis and conceptual structure provided serves as a topology for guiding and connecting further research in smart cruising.




信息通信技术 (ICT) 的进步和智能工具彻底改变了交互并影响所有交易, 从而改变了邮轮体验。通过整合所有可用技术并让邮轮乘客参与其中, 智能邮轮生态系统逐渐出现, 他们作为聪明的参与者与利益相关者动态互动, 在巡航体验之前、期间和之后创造价值。 COVID19 大流行的爆发强调了对非接触式和数字化交互以及实时信息的需求, 以快速跟踪智能技术的部署。信息通信技术在邮轮行业的传播是多方面的和动态的, 产生了许多智能技术用例


智能技术构成了一个全面的智能生态系统, 用于管理所有参与者、控制、设计和系统, 以优化船舶运营和管理, 同时以有效的方式与用户和船员共同创造价值。提出的多元智能巡航生态系统(SCE)由数字技术实现, 包括物体检测、物联网、卫星通信、大数据、自动化、机器人、人工智能、云计算、AR、VR, 动态收集、访问和处理大数据。一系列可互操作和互连的支持系统构成了智能生态系统的基础。


本研究提议的理论框架提供了智能巡航领域的整体视角, 突出了创新、接口和依赖关系, 以及相应的关键限制和挑战。所提供的综合和概念结构用于指导和连接智能领域的进一步研究提供划分类型。



Buhalis, D., Papathanassis, A. and Vafeidou, M. (2022), "Smart cruising: smart technology applications and their diffusion in cruise tourism", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 626-649.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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