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Beware hospitality industry: the robots are coming

John Bowen (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Cristian Morosan (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 3 December 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of how artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics can and will be utilized by the hospitality industry, providing a glimpse of what their use will look like in 2030.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviewed both academic and trade literature to provide an overview of how robots will affect the hospitality industry during the 2030s.

Findings

Experts predict that by 2030, robots will make up about 25 per cent of the “workforce” in the hospitality industry. The paper also explains the industry challenges the robots will solve, as well as other benefits they provide. One of the findings is that the adoption of robots by the industry will be a disruptive paradigm shift. It will create successful new hospitality companies while putting others out of business. Finally, this paper discusses how to keep the hospitality in hospitality businesses, when machines replace employees.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first to discuss the disruption that robots will cause in the industry. One of the findings is service delivery systems will need to be redesigned to maximize the benefits of robots, while still maintaining the hospitality of a customer service orientation.

Keywords

Citation

Bowen, J. and Morosan, C. (2018), "Beware hospitality industry: the robots are coming", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 10 No. 6, pp. 726-733. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-07-2018-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited