Understanding travellers’ reactions to robotic services: a multiple case study approach of robotic hotels
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate travellers’ behaviour and examine their reactions to high-tech hotels offering robotic services to customers. Design/methodology/approach: Data were gathered from user-generated content within the context of a qualitative research method by analysing the online narratives of travellers at TripAdvisor who visited robotic hotels. Data analysis was realised through content analysis, which revealed various themes and categories of traveller behaviour and reactions to technology. Findings: Results show that robotic services significantly improve the quality of service offered to travellers, while positively affecting travellers’ intention to revisit robotic hotels within the context of customer engagement behaviours. Research limitations/implications: The results of the present research reveal that the introduction of new technologies in the service industry, such as the robotic butler, can have considerable effects on guest behaviour and attitudes. This field has emerged as a new sub-dimension of customer engagement. Practical implications: The use of robots will most likely enhance experiences through interaction between customers and robots. Additionally, in cases where social distancing is required, the use of robots in the hospitality and tourism industry may increase the mobility of people wishing to travel by applying social distancing through use of robots in services. Originality/value: The study contributes to the extant literature by identifying the concept of adoption as a sub-dimension deriving from human–robot interaction, thus generating the novelty of the research.
SourceJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology