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100+ Tourism Research Topics: Trends and Future Directions

Tourism Research Topics

Tourism research stands at the crossroads of exploration and understanding, dissecting the intricacies of an industry that transcends geographical boundaries. In this blog, we delve into the realm of tourism research topics, examining their importance, trends, popular areas of study, challenges faced by researchers, and the future directions that the field is poised to take.

Key Trends in Tourism Research

Table of Contents

  • Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism has become a cornerstone of research in recent years, reflecting the global shift towards eco-conscious travel. Researchers are delving into the intricate balance between satisfying the wanderlust of tourists and preserving the environment.

Initiatives such as wildlife conservation, eco-friendly accommodations, and community engagement are key focus areas.

Technology in Tourism

The pervasive influence of technology on tourism cannot be overstated. From online booking platforms to virtual reality experiences, researchers are exploring the impact of technology on travel behavior.

Emerging areas of study include the use of artificial intelligence in personalized travel recommendations and the implications of augmented reality for enhancing tourist attractions.

What is the Importance of Tourism Research for Students?

Tourism research holds significant importance for students pursuing studies in various disciplines, including tourism management, hospitality, business, sociology, and environmental studies. Here are some key reasons why tourism research is valuable for students:

Academic Enrichment

  • Increases Understanding: By conducting study on the tourist business, students may increase their comprehension of the intricate relationships between the economic, social, cultural, and environmental facets of the sector.
  • Application of Theoretical information: This increases the practical relevance of their education by giving them the chance to apply the theoretical information they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Skill Development

  • Research Skills: Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data are just a few of the vital research skills that come from conducting tourist research. These abilities are adaptable and useful in a range of work environments.
  • Communication abilities: Through research papers, presentations, and conversations, students learn how to effectively express their results, which improves both their writing and spoken communication abilities.

Industry Insights

  • Current Trends and Issues: Research allows students to stay abreast of current trends, challenges, and emerging issues in the tourism industry. This awareness is crucial for adapting to the dynamic nature of the field.
  • In-Depth Knowledge: By delving into specific tourism research topics, students gain in-depth knowledge of particular sectors within the industry, positioning themselves as experts in specialized areas.

Career Opportunities

  • Competitive Advantage: Having experience in tourism research can provide students with a competitive advantage in the job market. Employers value candidates who can bring a research-driven perspective to decision-making.
  • Diverse Career Paths: Whether in academia, policy-making, destination management, or market analysis, a background in tourism research opens doors to a variety of career paths within the broader field of tourism and hospitality.

Contributions to Sustainable Practices

  • Environmental and Social Responsibility: Tourism research often focuses on sustainable practices. Students, through their research, can contribute ideas and solutions for promoting responsible tourism, minimizing negative impacts on the environment and local communities.

Global Perspective

  • Cultural Awareness: Researching diverse tourism topics exposes students to various cultures, traditions, and perspectives. This global perspective is crucial in an industry where interactions with people from different backgrounds are common.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Analytical Thinking: Research involves analyzing complex issues and developing solutions. This cultivates students’ analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, valuable attributes in any professional setting.

Personal Growth

  • Confidence Building: Successfully conducting research and presenting findings builds students’ confidence in their abilities. It empowers them to tackle challenges and approach tasks with a systematic mindset.

In summary, tourism research is a multifaceted learning experience that goes beyond textbooks, providing students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives needed for a successful and impactful career in the tourism industry or related fields.

100+ Tourism Research Topics: Category Wise

  • Impact of Technology on Travel
  • Cultural Tourism and Heritage Preservation
  • Dark Tourism: Ethics and Motivations
  • Community-Based Tourism for Socioeconomic Development
  • Wildlife Tourism and Conservation
  • Gastronomic Tourism: Culinary Experiences
  • Adventure Tourism: Risk and Reward
  • Medical Tourism: Trends and Implications
  • Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages
  • LGBTQ+ Tourism: Diversity in Travel
  • Film Tourism: Influence on Destination Choice
  • Cruise Tourism: Environmental Impact
  • Rural Tourism: Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path
  • Urban Tourism and City Planning
  • Educational Tourism: Learning Journeys
  • Wellness Tourism: Mind and Body Retreats
  • Space Tourism: Future Frontiers
  • Luxury Tourism and Experiential Travel
  • Sports Tourism: Events and Impact
  • Volunteer Tourism: Traveling for a Cause
  • Accessible Tourism: Inclusive Travel
  • Niche Tourism: Unusual Destinations
  • The Psychology of Tourist Behavior
  • Destination Marketing and Branding
  • Over-tourism: Challenges and Solutions
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Tourism
  • Cruise Tourism: Cultural Interactions
  • Heritage Tourism Management
  • Tourism and Globalization
  • Impact of Political Instability on Tourism
  • COVID-19 and Tourism: Recovery Strategies
  • Solo Travel: Trends and Safety Concerns
  • E-Tourism: Online Booking Trends
  • Responsible Tourism Practices
  • Agritourism: Farm and Rural Experiences
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Balancing Conservation and Tourism
  • Backpacking Culture: Trends and Challenges
  • Tourism Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Social Media Influencers in Tourism
  • Geotourism: Exploring Geological Wonders
  • Virtual Reality in Tourism Experiences
  • Tourism Policy and Regulation
  • Sustainable Transportation in Tourism
  • Wellness Retreats: Trends and Impacts
  • Coastal and Marine Tourism
  • Historical Tourism and Interpretation
  • Space-Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Tourism
  • Cross-Cultural Communication in Tourism
  • Slow Tourism: Embracing the Journey
  • Geopolitics and Tourism
  • Adventure Sports Tourism: Risk Management
  • Wellness Tourism: The Spa Industry
  • Religious Festivals and Tourism
  • Volunteer Tourism: Cultural Exchange
  • Impacts of Terrorism on Tourism
  • Tourism and Gender Equality
  • Dark Sky Tourism: Stargazing Adventures
  • Social Justice in Tourism
  • Music Tourism: Festivals and Events
  • Cruise Tourism: Port Infrastructure
  • Urban Regeneration through Tourism
  • Wellness Tourism: Mindful Travel
  • Cultural Appropriation in Tourism
  • Sports Mega-Events and Tourism
  • Virtual Tourism: Exploring from Home
  • Tourism Education and Training
  • Destination Resilience to Crises
  • Adventure Tourism: Environmental Stewardship
  • Slow Food Movement and Culinary Tourism
  • Accessible Tourism: Technology Solutions
  • Adventure Tourism: Cultural Immersion
  • Experiential Learning in Tourism
  • Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation
  • Indigenous Tourism: Empowerment and Challenges
  • Film-Induced Tourism: Pop Culture Impact
  • Ephemeral Tourism Events
  • Adventure Tourism: Cultural Sensitivity
  • Slum Tourism: Ethical Considerations
  • Tourism and Water Conservation
  • Space Tourism: Ethical Considerations
  • Rural Tourism: Community Engagement
  • Wellness Tourism: Mind-Body Connection
  • Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Adventure Tourism: Extreme Sports
  • The Role of Festivals in Tourism
  • Cultural Tourism and Social Inclusion
  • Wellness Tourism: Alternative Therapies
  • Tourism and Human Rights
  • Heritage Conservation and Tourism
  • Adventure Tourism: Risk Perception
  • Virtual Reality Museums and Tourism
  • Responsible Wildlife Tourism
  • Tourism and Disaster Management
  • Festivals as Cultural Tourism Attractions
  • Adventure Tourism: Psychological Benefits
  • Wellness Tourism: Eco-Friendly Retreats
  • Tourism and Aging Population
  • Culinary Tourism: Fusion Cuisine
  • Adventure Tourism: Cross-Cultural Interactions

Challenges and Opportunities in Tourism Research

Data collection and analysis.

While technology has streamlined data collection, challenges persist in ensuring data accuracy and relevance. Researchers are exploring advanced methodologies, such as big data analytics and machine learning, to overcome these hurdles and derive meaningful insights.

Globalization and Tourism

The globalization of the tourism industry poses both challenges and opportunities. Researchers are scrutinizing the impact of global trends on local economies, cultural identities, and the environment. Striking a balance between global and local interests is a complex task that requires careful consideration.

Future Directions in Tourism Research

Emerging tourism destinations.

The landscape of tourist destinations is ever-evolving. Researchers are turning their attention to emerging destinations, investigating the factors that contribute to their rise and the implications for the broader tourism industry. 

This includes understanding the appeal of off-the-beaten-path locations and the potential challenges associated with their sudden popularity.

Post-Pandemic Tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the tourism industry in unprecedented ways. Researchers are exploring the long-term effects of the pandemic on travel behavior, destination preferences, and the overall structure of the tourism sector. 

Strategies for recovery and resilience are also under the microscope as the industry adapts to the new normal.

Resources for Tourism Research Topics

  • Academic Journals and Publications: Leading academic journals in tourism research, such as the “Journal of Sustainable Tourism” and the “Annals of Tourism Research,” provide a wealth of knowledge for researchers. These publications cover a wide array of topics, from sustainable practices to cultural tourism.
  • Conferences and Events: Attending conferences and events, such as the “International Conference on Tourism Research” and the “World Tourism Forum,” offers researchers the opportunity to engage with peers, present their work, and stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.
  • Online Databases and Research Platforms: Online databases, including Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and Tourism Management Database , provide access to a vast repository of research articles, theses, and reports. These platforms facilitate collaboration and information exchange among researchers.

In conclusion, the landscape of tourism research topics is vast and dynamic, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the tourism industry. As researchers continue to explore sustainable practices, emerging trends, and the post-pandemic landscape, the importance of their work cannot be overstated. 

By navigating the challenges and embracing the opportunities presented, tourism researchers contribute to a more informed and resilient industry, ensuring that the joy of travel remains accessible for generations to come.

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Tourism and Hospitality Dissertation Topics

Published by Grace Graffin at January 10th, 2023 , Revised On May 17, 2024

Introduction

As a tourism student, you will be required to study the basics of tourism, hospitality, and event management. Some important issues surrounding tourism include but are not limited to medicine, finance, culture, geography, and more.

We understand that choosing the right dissertation topic can be a bit overwhelming for you. Therefore,  our writers have provided a comprehensive list of topics for the tourism dissertation. These topics are recent, relevant, and exploratory enough for you to conduct a comprehensive research study.

We can even customise topics according to your needs. So, go through our list of dissertation topics, choose the one that interests you, and let us know if you would like any help from our writers.

Check our  dissertation example to get an idea of  how to structure your dissertation .

You can review step by step guide on how to write your dissertation  here.

Latest Tourism Research Topics 

Investigating how the tourism industry has taken green and sustainable measures- a case study of uk.

Research Aim: This study will investigate the various aspects of the UK tourism industry geared towards making green and sustainable measures for environmental benefits. It will also look into the consumer’s perspective towards green tourism and its positive and negative impacts on the tourism industry and the tourists. It also helps you better understand the concept of a green environment and its influence on the tourism industry.

Environmental Management Systems and their Implementation in the UK- A Systematic Review.

Research Aim: This study will explore the quality of environmental management systems, environmental performance, improvements, and implementation in the UK. We will focus on different companies with high environmental impacts and how they have improved the environment and the use of environmental management systems (EMS). This study will also look into how it has changed or influenced the hospitality industry.

Investigating the impact of Social Media Recommendations on Hotel Booking in the UK.

Research Aim: Social media is a part of every aspect of our daily life. This research will investigate the influence of social media on tourism and specifically on choosing a hotel; it will also help you evaluate if consumers perceive social media-based recommendations differently than more traditional sources of internet-based marketing. Qualitative research will be used in this, followed by thematic analysis to find the role of social media in recommendations and influencing consumers’ searches. This will help us better understand how VR makes decisions and hotel bookings.

Assessing the Impact of Virtual Reality on Tourism.

Research Aim: Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology in tourism. This study will find the impact of virtual reality on the tourism industry. It will also investigate consumer behaviour towards it. We will better understand how VR has affected the tourism industry and significantly influenced the results. TAM research model will be developed to describe the nature of the 3D virtual world. It will also cover some psychological aspects to understand the consumer perspective.

Role of Social Media Marketing in deciding a Travel Destination- A Systematic Review.

Research Aim: This study investigates the role of social media marketing in deciding a travel destination. This study aims to find and understand how social media can achieve marketing objectives. Taking a quantitative approach, we will find the role of social media marketing and its effect on making travel choices through interviews and surveys. It will further explore the tourist’s perception, expectations, and experiences.

Investigating the Negative Impact of Travel Bans

Research Aim: This study explores the negative effects of travel bans on social, economic, cultural, and public health aspects. The study aims to analyse the repercussions of travel restrictions to inform policymaking. It will further investigate ways to avoid adverse consequences while promoting global mobility and cooperation. 

An Exploration of the Hospitality Industry Wages

Research Aim: To investigate the wage structures in the hospitality industry. This study explores factors influencing disparities and evaluates their implications. Insights will be provided on wage fairness, workplace satisfaction, gender discrimination, and industry competitiveness. It will also cover policies and practices to improve employee well-being and organisational performance.

Effects of Covid-19 on Tourism and Hospitality Dissertation Topics 

Topic 1: tourism after coronavirus pandemic - way forward for tourism and hospitality industry in the uk or any other country of your choice.

Research Aim: Tourism is a reason for most of the human mobility in the modern world. According to the World Tourism Organisation (2020), international tourism has indicated continuous growth for the tenth consecutive year, reporting 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019 and an estimated 1.8 billion international tourist arrivals by 2030 )people are forecasted to be. This particular research will focus on the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on the tourism and hospitality industry in the United Kingdom or any other country of your choice.

Topic 2: Investigating the Long Term Effects of Prolonged and New Travel Restrictions on the UK Tourism Industry

Research Aim: Britain will require anyone entering the country to self-quarantine for two weeks, and other European countries are pondering similar measures, but the prospects of prolonged and even new travel restrictions are destroying what hopes the continent’s airlines and tourist industry have been harbouring of at least a partial coronavirus rebound. Can the tourism sector of the UK overcome these challenges?

Topic 3: Coronavirus: Dubai Tourism Insists Emirate's Hotel Sector is Healthy, Rejects Bloomberg Report but Is It Really the Case?

Research Aim: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has denied a Bloomberg report about the emirate’s hospitality businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This research will employ primary research methodology to gather data from the key stakeholders of the Emirates hotel industry to assess whether or not the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is causing panic and financial damage to the hotel industry.

Topic 4: Will Easing the Travel Restrictions Benefit the UK Tourism Sector in the Short Term?

Research Aim: Many European countries, including the UK, are easing lockdown measures, including tourist destinations preparing for the summer. Cafes and restaurants in London and other cities hardest hit by the virus in the UK have opened two weeks behind the rest of the country. However, with most travellers preferring to stay home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, how effective are these measures going to be?

Topic 5: Coronavirus outbreak: Caribbean Tourism Struggles as Visitors Stay Home

Research Aim: In the Caribbean, the government plans to require all visitors to undergo rapid Covid-19 testing upon entry. They hope provisions such as virus tests for all industry workers and socially distanced resort dining will make people feel comfortable travelling. This research study will explore whether the measures taken by the Caribbean government will actually encourage the visitors to leave the comfort of their home and travel in the midst of the Covid-19 Crisis.

Ecotourism and Community Participation Dissertation Topics 

Topic 1: online tourism agents and websites.

Research Aim: This research aims to study online tourism websites and travelling agents

Topic 2: Advances in Tourism and Hospitality Post-pandemic

Research Aim: This research aims to assess the advances in Tourism and Hospitality post-pandemic

Topic 3: Impacts of Social Distancing on Tourism Managements

Research Aim: This research aims to study the impacts of social distancing on tourism managements

Topic 4: Advances in Hotel Management Post-pandemic

Research Aim: This research aims to assess advances in Hotel management post-pandemic

Topic 5: The Linguistic Roots of the Word “Hospitality” across Different Languages

Research Aim: This research investigates the linguistic roots of the word hospitality across different languages and the semantic shifts over time.

Topic 6: The Relationship Between the Host and the Guest

Research Aim: This research explores the relationship between the host and the guest and how both need to act under laws and regulations.

Economic Conditions and Local Tourism Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: factors impacting destination selection for medical tourism.

Research Aim: Medical tourism is a growing trend. An increasing number of people travel to another country, seeking medical treatment which is expensive or unavailable on their own. Various factors impact the destination selection process for medical treatment purposes. The destination can be local or international. With limited evidence on the factors that impact destination selection for medical tourism, there is a need for a comprehensive study exploring these factors in detail.

Topic 2: Impact of Low budget Airline Services on Boosting International Tourism in Europe: A Case Study of Ryanair.

Research Aim: With increasing costs of air travelling, the demand for low-budget airline services is on the rise. Ryanair is one of the leading low-budget airline services based in the UK. Its cheap air tickets attract many regular travellers. Given this, the main aim of this research will be to explore whether or not low-budget airlines are actually helping to increase international tourism in Europe or not. This research will be conducted based on quantitative data which will be collected from a sample of Ryanair international tourism travellers.

Topic 3: Eco-friendly Practices and Their Effect on Hotel Selection Decision: A Case Study of UK Hospitality Industry.

Research Aim: Various technologies can be implemented to achieve eco-friendliness, such as; internet of things, automation technology, bamboo industrialisation, and sustainable building construction. On the other hand, eco-friendly practices include; water and energy conservation, renewable energy use, waste recycling and management, alternative plastic products, and more. Many hotels in the UK install solar panels and automated systems, which generate renewable energy and ensure complete automation for lights and water. It is worth evaluating how eco-friendly technologies and practices affect the hotel selection decision of guests in the UK hospitality industry.

Topic 4: How Economic Conditions of a Country Impact its Local Tourism: Identifying the Economic Factors Influencing the Tourism Sector.

Research Aim: Economic factors have a great impact on tourism. When a country is economically strong, it spends a great deal on tourism development. On the other hand, tourism could be adversely affected if a country is struggling with its finances. This research aims to investigate and critically analyse the economic factors which tend to affect the tourism sector of a country. The study will also weigh the economic upsides and downsides of these factors concerning local tourism.

Topic 5: Assessing the Impact of Social Media Platforms on Tourism Destination Selection.

Research Aim: These days, social media websites play a tremendous role for tourists in destination selection. The experiences and reviews that people share on online social platforms have a huge impact on making or breaking the future of any tourist destination. This research will analyze the role of different social media platforms in choosing tourism destinations among tourists. This research will also shed light on the rationale and factors people rely on social media to select their tourism destination.

Topic 6: Assessing the Impact of Government Rules, Regulations, and Policies on Tourism Development: A Case Study of Developing Countries.

Research Aim: The tourism sector of any country is greatly looked after by governmental and regulatory bodies. This research will analyze the role played by such bodies from the perspective of policymaking and regulation implementation. The study will also explore how the impact of policymaking and government regulations in developed countries might be different from that of developing countries.

Topic 7: Analysing the Impact of Natural Hazaresearch will measure the customer satisfaction of British lesbians after they have undergone gender reassignment at the Yanhee International Hospital in Bangkok.

Research Aim: Natural hazards can have a disastrous effect on the tourism industry of any country. The UK is one of the countries where the tourism industry has experienced huge success. Thus, this research will be carried out to analyze the impact of such hazards on the UK’s tourism sector.

Topic 8: Assessing the Factors and Preferences Impacting Tourist's Decisions to Travel to a Dark Tourism Site.

Research Aim: As a result of a shift in preferences of tourists and an urge to explore and learn, dark tourism has gained immense popularity and success in recent times. This research will explore the factors and reasons why tourists choose dark places as their tourism destination.

Topic 9: The Impact of Travel Bloggers and vloggers on the Tourism Industry.

Research Aim: Travel bloggers and vloggers are an important part of the tourism industry now. These people travel the world, document their experiences through their writing or videos, and influence people. Tourists throughout the world now depend on their reviews and choose their travel destinations accordingly. This research will aim to explore how these influencers have completely changed the tourism industry.

Educational Tourism Dissertation Topics

Tourism has gained tremendous popularity among academicians and researchers in recent times. Educational tourism primarily takes into consideration technical competencies and new knowledge gained outside the classroom environment.

Educational tourism brings to light the idea of travelling to learn about the cultures of other nations. Exchange student programmes are perhaps the most commonly employed educational tourism strategy, allowing students to learn about the culture of the host nation through research work and travel. Possible areas of research in this field of tourism for your dissertation are provided below;

Topic 1: Educational Tourism Programmes and the Popularity of Host Nations

Research Aim: This research will discuss the educational exchange programmes in detail and will also assess how educational tourism can add to the appeal of the host nations for prospective tourists.

Topic 2: Factors Affecting the Decision of British Students to Join International Student Exchange Programmes.

Research Aim: Even though student exchange programmes are popular throughout the world, there are certain countries where they are practised the most. This research will study one such country, the UK, concerning the factors that encourage British students to join international exchange programmes.

Topic 3: Factors Contributing Towards the Success of Work & Study Programmes in the UK

Research Aim: This research will analyse the factors that contribute towards the success of study programmes in the UK, i.e. benefits of studying in the UK and the attractiveness of the UK as a place to live and study.

Topic 4: To Analyse the Satisfaction of International Students Enrolled in Student Exchange Programmes in the UK

Research Aim: This research will cover an important topic, i.e., measure the satisfaction of international students enrolled in exchange programs in the UK – the same topic can be used for any other country such as the USA or Canada.

Topic 5: To Investigate Potential Marketing and Communication Tools to Promote “any country” as the Best Place to Pursue Higher Education.

Research Aim: This research will investigate and conclude the most successful marketing and communication tools that are used to promote exchange programmes in a particular country. The topic can be customised according to the country of your choice.

Topic 6: What are the factors Influencing British Students’ Decision to Join Academic Year Exchange Programme in Japan?

Research Aim: Japan is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to student exchange programmes. This research will assess the factors that influence a British student’s decision to go to Japan to pursue education.

Topic 7: To Examine the Popularity of Student Exchange Programmes Offered by Chinese-speaking Countries.

Research Aim: This research will explore the reasons for the popularity of student exchange programmes in countries where Chinese is the official language such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, etc.

Topic 8: To Investigate the Attitude and Perception of British Students toward Summer Camps.

Research Aim: Summer camps are extremely popular in the west. This research will explore the perceptions of British students towards summer camps and what motivates them to attend them.

Topic 9: Factors Affecting the Decision of University Students to Pursue a Placement Programme in the US?

Research Aim: This research will aim to understand the rationale of university students’ decisions to pursue placement programmes in the US,

Topic 10: To Examine the Satisfaction of University Students Returning from Cultural Exchange Programmes in the US.

Research Aim: This research will aim to understand the satisfaction of university students who are on their way back from exchange programmes in the US.

Medical Tourism Dissertation Topics

Medical tourism is a new area of study in the tourism industry. The gap in the prices of medical facilities available in developing and developed countries is significant, propelling many patients to travel to far destinations to benefit from economic, medical services.

Similarly, many financially well-off patients decide to have medical treatment in foreign countries with advanced and established medical systems that provide state-of-the-art medical facilities unavailable in their home countries.

Although there may be insufficient secondary data to analyse this tourism sub-topic, researching this area will prove to be interesting. You can choose your medical tourism dissertation topics from this list.

Topic 1: Investigating the Reasons Why British Citizens Travel to Different Countries for their Dental Procedures

Research Aim: This research will identify and discuss in detail the reasons why British citizens travel to different countries for dental treatment.

Topic 2: The efficacy of marketing and communication tools employed by Thai plastic surgery and extreme makeover service providers – An investigation into the attitude and perception of British travellers.

Research Aim: A large number of British citizens travel to Thailand for cosmetic and plastic surgeries. This research will aim to understand the attitudes and perceptions of British travellers who opt for these surgeries in a foreign country. The research will also assess the marketing and communication tools employed by Thai medical service providers.

Topic 3: To Identify and Discuss Critical Marketing Strategies to Promote a Weight Loss Centre in the UK.

Research Aim: This research will talk about the marketing strategies that are undertaken in the UK to promote weight loss centres.

Topic 4: Measuring Customer satisfaction of British Lesbians After Having Sex Reassignment at Yanhee International Hospital, Bangkok

Research Aim: This research will measure the customer satisfaction of British lesbians after they have undergone gender reassignment at the Yanhee International Hospital in Bangkok.

Topic 5: To Examine the Factors Influencing the Decisions of British Women to Buy Body Contour Tour Packages in East Asia.

Research Aim: This study will analyze the factors that influence the decision-making of British women when burying body contour tour packages in East Asia.

Topic 6: To Investigate the Extent to Which Swiss Weight Control Tour Packages Have Influenced Women in the UK.

Research Aim: This research will focus on the decision-making detriments of British Women who opt to purchase weight control tour packages in Switzerland.

Topic 7: How Young British Females Perceive Facial Lifting package Tours in East Asia?

Research Aim: This study will analyze how young British females perceive facial lifting package tours in East Asia.

Topic 8: To Understand and Discuss the Factors Affecting Buying Decisions to Benefit from Extreme Makeover Tour Packages in Eastern Europe.

Research Aim: This research will critically explore the factors that influence the buying decision of customers who purchase extreme makeover packages from Eastern Europe.

Topic 9: How Attractive are the Plastic Surgery Makeover Services to Female British Customers – A Qualitative Study

Research Aim: This research will understand and analyze the attractiveness of plastic surgery makeover services that influence British females to purchase them. The research will be descriptive in nature.

Topic 10: How Homosexual Men Choose Medical Tour Packages for Sex Reassignment.

Research Aim: This study will investigate gender reassignment tour packages that interest homosexual men and the factors influencing their decision-making process.

Tourism Management Dissertation Topics

Tourism management is perhaps the most interesting area of the tourism industry. It mainly involves travelling for the purpose of leisure and recreation. People travelling to other countries and outside their usual environment with the intent of leisure can be classified as tourists.

It should be noted that the phenomenon of tourism has grown tremendously in recent years, thanks to the impact of globalisation. There are many countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Maldives, and Fiji, whose largest source of income is tourism. In these countries, tourism generates huge revenue for the government and also provides employment opportunities for the working class as well as businesses.

The suggestions below can help you to narrow your research for your tourism dissertation.

Topic 1: How British Tourists Perceive Chinese World Heritage Tour – A Qualitative Study

Research Aim: This research will focus on how British tourists perceive Chinese heritage and what compels them to visit China.

Topic 2: Exploring the Factors that Make London the Most Popular Destination for Christmas Shopping

Research Aim: This research will analyse and explore the various factors that promote London as one of the most attractive destinations for Christmas shopping.

Topic 3: Investigating the Underlying Factors that British Citizens Consider when Choosing a Destination for Their Winter Holidays.

Research Aim: This research will analyse the various factors that British citizens consider and evaluate when choosing a destination for their winter vacations.

Topic 4: An Analysis of Factors Affecting Employees’ Motivation in Luxury Hotels of Dubai.

Research Aim: This research will study the factors influencing employee motivation in luxury and five-star hotels in Dubai. The study will make use of secondary data and primary research to establish the exact factors that motivate employees to work for luxury hotels in Dubai.

Topic 5: How the Tourism Industry of Thailand Responded to the Tsunami.

Research Aim: This study will dive into the past to establish how the Thai tourism industry responded to Tsunami.

Visit our topics database to view 100s of dissertation topics in your research area.

Topic 6: Factors Influencing British Customers’ Decisions of Purchasing Egypt Tour Packages.

Research Aim: This research will explore the factors that British citizens consider when planning their holiday to Egypt.

Topic 7: Attitude and Perception of British Tourists Toward Thailand as a Winter Holiday Destination

Research Aim: This study will research why the British choose Thailand as their winter holiday destination.

Topic 8: The Increasing Popularity of Cruise Travel in South Africa Among British Tourists

Research Aim: This research will consider the reasons why South African cruise is extremely popular amongst British tourists.

Topic 9: To Investigate the Efficacy of Integrated Marketing Communication Tools to Restore the Image of Amsterdam as the Best Tourist Destination in Europe

Research Aim: This research will explore the marketing and communication tools utilized to market Amsterdam as the best tourism destination in Europe.

Topic 10: Factors Influencing British Customers’ Decision to Choose a Particular Destination During the Summer/winter Holiday

Research Aim: This research will discuss all the factors that influence British citizens to choose a destination for their summer or winter holidays. This topic can be customized according to a country of your choosing.

Hospitality Dissertation Topics

Hospitality industry  consists of casinos, resorts, restaurants, hotels, catering as well as other businesses that serve the tourists. At its core hospitality can be defined as the relationship between a guest and the hotel.

Other aspects of hospitality include but are not limited to liberality, friendliness, warm welcome, entertainment, goodwill, and reception. Modern-day businesses pride themselves on their acts of hospitality. Thus, it is an extremely interesting sub-topic to base your dissertation on. Some topics in this area of tourism are suggested below.

Topic 1: Examining How Popular Travel Agents Such as eBrooker and Opodo are Perceived by British Tourists

Research Aim: This research will evaluate some of the best and most popular travel agents such as Opodo and eBookers and how they assist British tourists with their destination planning.

Topic 2: Identifying the Factors that Influence Leisure Hotel Buying Decisions of British Customers

Research Aim: This research will identify the factors that influence British customers’ decision to opt for luxury hotels.

Topic 3: Identifying Features of a leisure hotel that attract British honeymoon couples

Research Aim: This research will identify features of a luxury hotel that attract British couples looking for a honeymoon location.

Topic 4: Investigating Hospitality Practices of Popular Leisure Hotels in Dubai

Research Aim: This study will investigate hospitality purchases of attractive luxury hotels in Dubai.

Topic 5: What are the Prime Factors Influencing Restaurant Selection Decisions of Young British Couples?

Research Aim: This research will explore the factors that influence British couples to select restaurants for their time out.

Topic 6: Investigating and Reviewing Strategies Employed by Hotel Restaurants and Pubs in London to Keep Their Employees Motivated

Research Aim: This research will study an important aspect of the tourism industry, i.e., how hotel restaurants and pubs in London keep their employees motivated.

Topic 7: Exploring the Relationship Between Culture and Leisure Hotel Buying Decisions in London.

Research Aim: This research will investigate the relationship between how customers in London choose a luxury hotel based on their culture.

Topic 8: Creating Brand Sales and Recognition Using Integrated Marketing Communication Tools.

Research Aim: This research will explore how brand sales and recognition are built using various marketing and communication tools.

Topic 9: Understanding the Relationship Between Customers’ Buying Decisions and Leisure Hotel Hospitality Features within the Context of Overseas Holidays

Research Aim: This research will explore the relationship between customers’ decision to choose a luxury hotel while visiting different countries.

Topic 10: The Impact of Hospitality Companies’ Brand Image on Tourists’ Buying Decisions.

Research Aim: This research will first talk about different hospitality companies and how their brand image impacts tourists’ buying decisions.

Black Tourism Dissertation Topics

Black tourism, also known as dark tourism and grief tourism, involves travelling to historical sites/places associated with death, casualties, and suffering.

Dark or black tourist sites such as battlefields, monuments, castles, Tsunami sites, and Ground Zero are man-made or natural. They are found commonly in Scotland, South Asia, China, and Eastern Europe.

Dark tourism may not be the ideal choice for many students. However, it is an exciting topic to explore. Possible research topics under this field of tourism are listed below:

Topic 1: How Local Communities Can Benefit Commercially and Socially from Tours to Death/Casualty Sites – A Qualitative Study

Research Aim: This research will explore the various benefits that local communities can experience from touring death or casualty sites.

Topic 2: Attitude and Perception of Tourists Towards Taj Mahal in India

Research Aim: Taj Mahal can be categorised as a dark tourism site because many people consider it a mausoleum. This research will discuss the attitude and perceptions of tourists when visiting the Taj Mahal.

Topic 3: To Investigate and Identify the Factors Influencing Tourists’ Decisions to Visit gGrief Sites in the UK

Research Aim: This research will explore the factors that influence the decisions of tourists to visit grief sites in the UK.

Topic 4: Is Mercat Tour in Scotland a Grief Tourism Site for Potential Tourists?

Research Aim: Mercat Tour in Scotland is considered a ghost site. This study will explore what makes this site a dark tourism destination.

Topic 5: Developing a Highly Effective Marketing Strategy to Promote London Dungeon Among the Tourists

Research Aim: This research will understand the various marketing strategies undertaken to promote the London Dungeon amongst tourists.

Topic 6: What are the Primary Factors Influencing British Tourists’ Decision to Choose Grief Sites?

Research Aim: This research will understand the various factors that influence British tourists’ decision to select a dark tourism site.

Topic 7: Developing a Marketing Strategy to Promote Beaumaris Prison in Wales as Another Black Tourism Site in Britain

Research Aim: This research will focus on developing a successful marketing strategy that will help promote Beaumaris Prison in Wales as a black tourism site in Britain.

Topic 8: How are Man-made Grief tourism Sites are Perceived by British Tourists?

Research Aim: This research will discover how British tourists perceive man-made dark tourism destinations.

Comparing the Man-made Black Tourism Sites with the Natural Disaster Grief Sites from the Perspective of Tourists

Research Aim: This research will compare manmade and natural dark tourism destinations with a focus on tourists’ perceptions.

Topic 10: Do the Local Communities Economically Benefit from Tourists Visiting Dark Tourism Sites?

Research Aim: This research will explore whether or not local communities are impacted in any way when dark tourist sites in their locality are visited.

Sustainability and Tourism Dissertation Topics

At its core, this field of tourism primarily focuses on the way tourists can live harmoniously with the planet earth. Ecotourist sites or sustainable tourist sites are those that promote fauna and flora and cultural heritage. Another objective of  eco-tourism  is to provide social and economic opportunities to local communities. Some interesting topics worth exploring, in this area, are suggested below:

Topic 1: Investigating the Impact of the Internet on the Growth of Eco-tourism in the UK

Research Aim: This research will study the impact of the internet on the rising eco-tourism trend in the UK.

Topic 2: Factors Affecting British Customers’ Decision of Choosing an Eco-tourism

Research Aim: This research will study the reason why British tourists opt for an eco-tourism site as compared to traditional destinations.

Topic 3: Establishing and Discussing Strategies to Promote Swansea as the Best Eco-tourist Spot in the UK

Research Aim: This research will discuss the various ways through which Swansea can be promoted as the best eco-tourist spot in the UK.

Topic 4: Analysing the Role of Price in the Selection of Eco-tourism Destinations

Research Aim: This research will understand the various factors that influence the tourists’ decision to choose an eco-friendly site for their next holiday destination.

Topic 5: Examining the Use of Integrated Marketing Communication Tools to Promote Eco-tourism in Great Britain

Research Aim: This research will study and analyze the different ways through which integrated marketing communication tools should be used to promote eco-tourism in the UK.

Topic 6: Comparing Developing World Eco-tourism Sites Against Western Eco-tourism Sites

Research Aim: This study will compare developing eco-tourism sites and developed or Western eco-tourism sites. The study will conclude which sites tourists prefer and what factors lead them to their decision.

Topic 7: Does Eco-tourism Develop Social and Economic Opportunities for Local Communities?

Research Aim: This research will explore whether or not eco-tourism helps develop social and economic opportunities in the local communities. If it does, the study will explore those factors as well.

Topic 8: Exploring the Factors Affecting the Buying Decisions of Customers Interested in Eco-tourism Sites

Research Aim: This research will identify and discuss the various factors that affect the buying decision of customers who are interested in eco-tourism sites. These factors will then be explored in detail in this study.

Topic 9: Analysis of the Potential of Edinburgh as an Eco-tourism Site in the UK

Research Aim: This research will compare manmade and natural dark tourism destinations and will also include tourists’ perceptions.

Topic 10: Assessing the Impact of Grass Root level Education in Promoting Sustainable Tourism in Europe – A Review of the Literature

Research Aim: This research will discuss the impact of grass root level education to promote sustainable tourism in Europe. The study will be based on the qualitative research method.

Important Notes:

As a tourism and hospitality student looking to get good grades, it is essential to develop new ideas and experiment with existing tourism and hospitality theories – i.e., to add value and interest to your research topic.

The field of tourism and hospitality is vast and interrelated with many other academic disciplines like civil engineering, construction, law, engineering management, healthcare, mental health, artificial intelligence, physiotherapy, sociology, management, marketing, and nursing . That is why it is imperative to create a project management dissertation topic that is particular and sound and actually solves a practical problem that may be rampant in the field.

We can’t stress how important it is to develop a logical research topic; it is the basis of your entire research. There are several significant downfalls to getting your topic wrong: your supervisor may not be interested in working on it, the topic has no academic creditability, the research may not make logical sense, and there is a possibility that the study is not viable.

This impacts your time and efforts in  writing your dissertation as you may end up in a cycle of rejection at the very initial stage of the dissertation. That is why we recommend reviewing existing research to develop a topic, taking advice from your supervisor, and even asking for help in this particular stage of your dissertation.

While developing a research topic, keeping our advice in mind will allow you to pick one of the best tourism and hospitality dissertation topics that fulfil your requirement of writing a research paper and add to the body of knowledge.

Therefore, it is recommended that when finalizing your dissertation topic, you read recently published literature to identify gaps in the research that you may help fill.

Remember- dissertation topics need to be unique, solve an identified problem, be logical, and be practically implemented. Please take a look at some of our sample tourism and hospitality dissertation topics to get an idea for your dissertation.

How to Structure Your Tourism and Hospitality Dissertation

A well-structured   dissertation can help students   to achieve a high overall academic grade.

  • A Title Page
  • Acknowledgements
  • Declaration
  • Abstract: A summary of the research completed
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction : This chapter includes the project rationale, research background, key research aims and objectives, and the research problems to be addressed. An outline of the structure of a dissertation  can also be added to this chapter.
  • Literature Review: This chapter presents relevant theories and frameworks by analyzing published and unpublished literature available on the chosen research topic in light of the research questions to be addressed. The purpose is to highlight and discuss the relative weaknesses and strengths of the selected research area while identifying any research gaps. A breakdown of the topic and key terms can have a positive impact on your dissertation and your tutor.
  • Methodology:  The  data collection  and  analysis methods and techniques employed by the researcher are presented in the Methodology chapter, which usually includes  research design, research philosophy, research limitations, code of conduct, ethical consideration, data collection methods, and  data analysis strategy .
  • Findings and Analysis: The findings of the research are analysed in detail under the Findings and Analysis chapter. All key findings/results are outlined in this chapter without interpreting the data or drawing any conclusions. It can be useful to include  graphs ,  charts, and  tables in this chapter to identify meaningful trends and relationships.
  • Discussion  and  Conclusion: The researcher presents his interpretation of results in this chapter and states whether the research hypothesis has been verified or not. An essential aspect of this section is to establish the link between the results and evidence from the literature. Recommendations with regard to the implications of the findings and directions for the future may also be provided. Finally, a summary of the overall research, along with final judgments, opinions, and comments, must be included in the form of suggestions for improvement.
  • References:  Make sure to complete this in accordance with your University’s requirements
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices:  Any additional information, diagrams, graphs that were used to  complete the dissertation  but not part of the dissertation should be included in the Appendices chapter. Essentially, the purpose is to expand the information/data.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to find dissertation topics about tourism and hospitality.

To find tourism and hospitality dissertation topics:

  • Examine industry trends and challenges.
  • Explore cultural, environmental, or tech impacts.
  • Research niche areas like ecotourism or event management.
  • Analyse customer behaviour and satisfaction.
  • Consider sustainable practices.
  • Select a topic aligning with your passion and career aspirations.

What is the best research topic for tourism?

There is no one best topic, but here is a trending topic. “The Impact of Virtual Reality Technology on Tourist Experience and Destination Promotion: A Comparative Analysis.” This research topic explores how VR technology affects tourist perceptions, engagement, and decision-making and its implications for destination marketing strategies, comparing traditional methods with VR-based approaches in tourism promotion.

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Tourism and Hospitality Research

Tourism and Hospitality Research

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Scimago impact factor: 0.846 Tourism and Hospitality Research (THR) is firmly established as an influential and authoritative, peer-reviewed journal for tourism and hospitality researchers and professionals. THR covers applied research in the context of Tourism and Hospitality in areas such as policy, planning, performance, development, management, strategy, operations, marketing and consumer behaviour. We accept papers in other areas within the context of tourism and hospitality provided the paper delivers research with significant implications for tourism and hospitality. Please note that for hospitality papers we expect a subsection in the conclusions of your paper clearly labelled as Industry Implications.

THR promotes qualitative methodologies and will not accept quantitative studies unless they are innovative in their approach and fully embedded in theory development and explicitly offer new knowledge. If your paper utilises quantitative methodological approaches then we expect a clear narrative in your cover letter as to how your quantitative paper meets our scope.

Each issue of Tourism and Hospitality Research publishes detailed, authoritative applied research papers from researchers and practitioners worldwide. We also accept industry Case Studies; Research Notes; Conference Reports; Practitioner Briefings; and Book Reviews that are addressing key issues, challenges and innovative aspects of tourism and hospitality.

Tourism and Hospitality Research (THR) publishes dynamic and original research on a wide range of issues in the context of tourism and hospitality. The scope of the journal is international, and, as a platform for stimulating debate, we welcome theoretical, multidisciplinary and applied submissions that offer meaningful and ambitious contributions to current discourse. THR draws upon the expertise of scholars and practitioners interested in many aspects of tourism and hospitality, including consumer behaviour, marketing, strategy, policy and planning, environmental studies, psychology and many more. The journal’s content includes empirical research, discussions of current issues and case studies. We welcome research notes and full manuscripts as well as book reviews and professional perspectives of tourism and hospitality.

Of particular interest to THR are articles adopting innovative research approaches, manuscripts that examine novel and/or under-researched areas of tourism and hospitality and review papers that support the development of future research agendas.

All papers are subject to double-blind peer review by the journal’s international community of reviewers.

University of Brighton, UK
IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria
University of Surrey, UK
Makarere University, Uganda
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Oxford Brookes University, UK
University of Waterloo, Canada
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
University of Greenwich, UK
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Breda University of Applied Sciences, Academy of Hotel and Facility Management, The Netherlands
University of Central Lancashire, UK
University of Surrey, UK
University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
IUBH International University, Germany
University of Limerick, Ireland
University of Brighton, UK
Heilbronn University, Germany
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  • Published: 25 November 2023

Systematic review and research agenda for the tourism and hospitality sector: co-creation of customer value in the digital age

  • T. D. Dang   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0930-381X 1 , 2 &
  • M. T. Nguyen 1  

Future Business Journal volume  9 , Article number:  94 ( 2023 ) Cite this article

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A Correction to this article was published on 07 February 2024

This article has been updated

The tourism and hospitality industries are experiencing transformative shifts driven by the proliferation of digital technologies facilitating real-time customer communication and data collection. This evolution towards customer value co-creation demands a paradigm shift in management attitudes and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Metaverse. A systematic literature review using the PRISMA method investigated the impact of customer value co-creation through the digital age on the tourism and hospitality sector. The primary objective of this review was to examine 27 relevant studies published between 2012 and 2022. Findings reveal that digital technologies, especially AI, Metaverse, and related innovations, significantly enhance value co-creation by allowing for more personalized, immersive, and efficient tourist experiences. Academic insights show the exploration of technology’s role in enhancing travel experiences and ethical concerns, while from a managerial perspective, AI and digital tools can drive industry success through improved customer interactions. As a groundwork for progressive research, the study pinpoints three pivotal focal areas for upcoming inquiries: technological, academic, and managerial. These avenues offer exciting prospects for advancing knowledge and practices, paving the way for transformative changes in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Introduction

The tourism and hospitality industry is constantly evolving, and the digital age has brought about numerous changes in how businesses operate and interact with their customers [ 1 ]. One such change is the concept of value co-creation, which refers to the collaborative process by which value is created and shared between a business and its customers [ 2 , 3 ]. In order to facilitate the value co-creation process in tourism and hospitality, it is necessary to have adequate technologies in place to enable the participation of all stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, and others [ 4 , 5 ]. Thus, technology serves as a crucial enabler for value co-creation. In the tourism and hospitality industry, leading-edge technology can be crucial in co-creation value processes because it can facilitate the creation and exchange of value among customers and businesses [ 6 , 7 ]. For example, the development of cloud computing and virtual reality technologies has enabled new forms of collaboration and co-creation that were not possible before [ 8 , 9 , 10 ]. Recent technologies like AI, Metaverse, and robots have revolutionized tourism and hospitality [ 11 , 12 , 13 ]. These technologies are used in various ways to enhance the customer experience and drive business success. AI can personalize the customer experience using customer data and personalized recommendations [ 14 ]. It can also optimize operations by automating tasks and improving decision-making. The metaverse, or virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, are being used to offer immersive and interactive experiences to customers [ 10 , 11 ]. For example, VR and AR can create virtual tours of hotels and destinations or offer interactive experiences such as virtual cooking classes or wine tastings [ 15 ]. Robots are being used to aid and interact with customers in various settings, including hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. For example, robots can provide information, answer questions, and even deliver room services [ 12 , 16 ]. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the crucial interplay between public health, sustainable development, and digital innovations [ 17 ]. Globally, the surge in blockchain applications, particularly in the business, marketing and finance sectors, signifies the technological advancements reshaping various industries [ 18 ]. These developments, coupled with integrating digital solutions during the pandemic, highlight the pervasive role of technology across diverse sectors [ 19 , 20 , 21 ]. These insights provide a broader context for our study of the digital transformation in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Adopting new technologies such as AI, the Metaverse, blockchain and robots is helping the tourism and hospitality industry deliver customers a more personalized, convenient, and immersive experience [ 22 ]. As these technologies continue to evolve and become more prevalent, businesses in the industry need to stay up-to-date and consider how they can leverage these technologies to drive success [ 23 , 24 ].

Despite the growing body of literature on customer value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality sector, it remains scattered and fragmented [ 2 , 25 , 26 ]. To consolidate this research and provide a comprehensive summary of the current understanding of the subject, we conducted a systematic literature review using the PRISMA 2020 (“ Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses ”) approach [ 27 , 28 ]. This systematic review aims to explore three primary areas of inquiry related to the utilization of AI and new technologies in the tourism and hospitality industry: (i) From a technology perspective, what are the main types of AI and latest technologies that have been used to enhance co-creation values in tourism and hospitality?; (ii) From an academic viewpoint—What are the future research directions in this sector?; (iii) From a managerial standpoint—How can these technologies be leveraged to enhance customer experiences and drive business success?. In essence, this study contributes valuable insights into the dynamic realm of customer value co-creation in the digital age within the tourism and hospitality sector. By addressing the research questions and identifying gaps in the literature, our systematic literature review seeks to provide novel perspectives on leveraging technology to foster industry advancements and enhance customer experiences.

The remaining parts of this article are structured in the following sections: “ Study background ” section outlines pertinent background details for our systematic literature review. In “ Methodology ” section details our research objectives, queries, and the systematic literature review protocol we used in our study design. In “ Results ” section offers the findings based on the analyzed primary research studies. Lastly, we conclude the article, discuss the outstanding work, and examine the limitations to the validity of our study in “ Discussion and implications ” section.

Study background

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector is experiencing significant transformations. Despite the substantial impact on the tourism industry, the demand for academic publications about tourism remains unabated. In this recovery phase, AI and novel technologies hold immense potential to assist the tourism and hospitality industry by tackling diverse challenges and enhancing overall efficiency. In this section, the study provides some study background for the review processes.

The relationship between tourism and hospitality

Tourism and hospitality are closely related industries, as the hospitality industry plays a crucial role in the tourism industry [ 29 ]. Academics and practitioners often examine tourism and hospitality because they are related industries [ 2 , 30 ]. Hospitality refers to providing travelers and tourists accommodation, food, and other services [ 31 ]. These can include hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other types of establishments that cater to the needs of travelers [ 32 ]. On the other hand, the tourism industry encompasses all the activities and services related to planning, promoting, and facilitating travel [ 31 ]; transportation, tour operators, travel agencies, and other businesses that help facilitate tourist travel experiences [ 33 ]. Both industries rely on each other to thrive, as travelers need places to stay and eat while on vacation, and hospitality businesses rely on tourists for their income [ 32 , 33 , 34 ].

In recent years, the tourism industry has undergone significant changes due to the increasing use of digital technologies, enabling the development of new forms of tourism, such as “smart tourism” [ 8 , 10 ]. Smart tourism refers to using digital technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry [ 1 ]. These technologies, including AI and Metaverse, can be used in various aspects of the tourism industry, such as booking and reservation processes, customer service, and the management of tourist attractions [ 4 , 11 ]. The hospitality industry, which includes hotels and restaurants, is closely linked to the tourism industry and is also adopting intelligent technologies to improve the customer experience and increase efficiency [ 1 , 22 ]. Recent studies have explored the impact of these technologies on the tourism and hospitality sectors and have identified both benefits and challenges for stakeholders [ 10 , 35 , 36 ].

Customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality

Customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality refers to the process by which customers and businesses collaborate to create value by exchanging services, information, and experiences [ 2 , 33 ]. This process involves the customer and the business actively creating value rather than simply providing a product or service to the customer [ 37 ]. Studies have found that customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty [ 2 ]. When customers feel that they can contribute to the value of their experience, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and involvement, which can lead to a more positive overall evaluation of the experience [ 5 , 38 ]. In the tourism industry, customer value co-creation can increase satisfaction with the destination, trips, accommodation, services, and overall experiences [ 4 ]. These can be achieved by allowing customers to choose their room amenities or providing opportunities to interact with staff and other guests [ 5 , 39 ]. Customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality can be a powerful solution for businesses to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. By actively involving customers in creating value, businesses can create a more personalized and engaging experience for their customers.

AI, Metaverse, and new technologies in tourism and hospitality

The impact of AI, the Metaverse, and new technologies on the tourism and hospitality industries is an area of active research and debate [ 2 , 4 , 29 , 40 ]. First, using AI and new technology in tourism and hospitality can improve the customer experience, increase efficiency, and reduce costs [ 13 , 41 , 42 , 43 ]. For instance, chatbots and virtual assistants facilitate tasks like room bookings or restaurant reservations for customers. Concurrently, machine learning (ML) algorithms offer optimized pricing and marketing strategies and insights into customer perceptions within the tourism and hospitality sectors [ 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 ]. However, there are also concerns about the potential negative impact of AI on employment in the industry [ 48 ]. Second, The emergence of the Metaverse, a virtual shared space where people can interact in real time, can potentially revolutionize the tourism and hospitality industries [ 10 ]. For example, VR and AR experiences could allow travelers to visit and explore destinations without leaving their homes [ 15 , 49 ], while online events and social gatherings could provide new business opportunities to connect with customers [ 11 ]. However, it is unclear how the Metaverse will evolve and its long-term impact on the tourism and hospitality industries [ 4 , 10 , 11 ]. Last, other emerging technologies, such as blockchain, AI-Robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), can potentially transform the tourism and hospitality industries [ 18 , 45 , 48 ]. For example, blockchain could be used to secure and track the movement of travel documents [ 18 ], while IoT-enabled devices could improve the efficiency and personalization of the customer experience [ 50 ]. As with AI and the Metaverse, it is difficult to predict the exact impact of these technologies on the industry, but they are likely to play a significant role in shaping its future [ 18 , 40 ]. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the healthcare landscape within the tourism and hospitality sector is undergoing significant transformations driven by the integration of cutting-edge AI and advanced technologies [ 38 , 51 , 52 ]. These technological advancements have paved the way for personalized and seamless experiences for travelers, with AI-powered chatbots playing a pivotal role in addressing medical inquiries and innovative telemedicine solutions ensuring the well-being of tourists [ 52 , 53 ].

This study background provides essential context for the subsequent systematic literature review, as it contextualizes the field’s key concepts, frameworks, and emerging technologies. By examining these aspects, the study aims to contribute valuable insights into the post-pandemic recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry, paving the way for future research opportunities and advancements in the field.

Methodology

This study meticulously adopted a systematic literature review process grounded in a pre-defined review protocol to provide a thorough and objective appraisal [ 54 ]. This approach was geared to eliminate potential bias and uphold the integrity of study findings. The formulation of the review protocol was a collaborative effort facilitated by two researchers. This foundational document encompasses (i) Clear delineation of the study objectives, ensuring alignment with the research aim; (ii) A thorough description of the methods used for data collection and assessment, which underscores the replicability of our process; (iii) A systematic approach for synthesizing and analyzing the selected studies, promoting consistency and transparency.

Guiding the current review process was the PRISMA methodology, a renowned and universally esteemed framework that has set a gold standard for conducting systematic reviews in various scientific disciplines [ 27 , 28 ]. The commendable efficacy of PRISMA in service research substantiates its methodological robustness and reliability [ 55 ]. It is not only the rigorous nature of PRISMA but also its widespread acceptance in service research that accentuates its fittingness for this research. Given tourism and hospitality studies’ intricate and evolving nature, PRISMA is a robust compass to guide our SLR, ensuring methodological transparency and thoroughness [ 56 , 57 ]. In essence, the PRISMA approach does not merely dictate the procedural intricacies of the review but emphasizes clarity, precision, and transparency at every phase. The PRISMA methodology presents the research journey holistically, from its inception to its conclusions, providing readers with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the approach and findings [ 58 ].

Utilizing the goal-question-metrics approach [ 59 ], our study aims to analyze current scientific literature from the perspectives of technicians, researchers, and practitioners to comprehend customer value co-creation through the digital age within the Tourism and Hospitality sector. In order to accomplish this goal, we formulated the following research questions:

What are the main types of AI and new technologies used to enhance value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industries?

What are the future research directions in customer value co-creation through AI and new technologies in the tourism and hospitality sector?

How do managers in the tourism and hospitality sector apply AI and new technologies to enhance customer co-creation value and drive business success?

The subsequent subsections will provide further details regarding our search and analysis strategies.

Search strategy and selection criteria

We collected our data by searching for papers in the Scopus and Web of Science databases, adhering to rigorous scientific standards. We included only international peer-reviewed academic journal articles, excluding publications like books, book chapters, and conference proceedings [ 60 , 61 , 62 ]. The research process covered the period from 2009 to 2022, as this timeframe aligns with the publication of the first studies on value co-creation in the tourism industry in 2009 and the first two studies on value co-creation in general in 2004 [ 63 , 64 ]. The selection of sources was based on criteria such as timelines, availability, quality, and versatility, as discussed by Dieste et al. [ 2 ]. We employed relevant keywords, synonyms, and truncations for three main concepts: tourism and hospitality, customer value co-creation, and AI and new technologies in smart tourism and hospitality. To ensure transparency and comprehensiveness, we followed the PRISMA inclusion criteria, detailed in Table 1 , and utilized topic and Boolean/phrase search modes to retrieve papers published from 2009 to 2022. The final search string underwent validation by experts to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness:

“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “

A PRISMA diagram was produced to understand better this study’s search strategy and record selection.

Study selection and analysis procedure

The current study utilized the PRISMA framework to document our review process. One hundred two papers were retrieved during the initial search across the databases. Table 1 outlines the criteria for selecting the studies based on scope and quality. The study adhered to the PRISMA procedure (as shown in Fig.  1 ) and applied the following filters:

We identified and removed 17 duplicate records during the ‘identification’ step.

We excluded 27 publications in the ‘Screening’ step based on the title and abstract.

We excluded 31 publications based on the entire text in the eligibility step.

figure 1

PRISMA flow diagram

As a result, we were left with a final collection of 27 journal articles for downloading and analysis. Two trained research assistants conducted title and abstract screenings separately, and any disagreements about inclusion were resolved by discussing them with the research coordinator until an agreement was reached. Papers not in English, papers from meetings, books, editorials, news, reports, and patents were excluded, as well as unrelated or incomplete papers and studies that did not focus on the tourism and hospitality domain. A manual search of the reference lists of each paper was conducted to identify relevant papers that were not found in the database searches. After this process, 27 papers were left for a full-text review.

This study used the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) to evaluate the quality of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research studies included [ 65 , 66 ]. According to the findings, the quality of the study met the standards of a systematic review. Additional information can be obtained from Additional file 1 : Appendix 1.

In this section, we will report the results of our data analysis for each research question. We will begin by describing the characteristics of the studies included in the systematic literature review, such as (1) publication authors, titles, years and journals, topics, methods, and tools used in existing studies. Then each facet was elaborated by the following questions: (i) What are the main types of AI and new technologies used to enhance value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industries? (ii) What are the future research directions in customer value co-creation through AI and new technologies in the tourism and hospitality sector? (iii) How do managers in the tourism and hospitality sector apply AI and new technologies to enhance customer co-creation value and drive business success?

Studies demographics

Figure  2 shows the yearly publication of articles on customer co-creation of value in tourism and hospitality through AI and new technologies. The chart’s data suggests two main findings. Firstly, the research on customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality through AI and new technologies is still in its early stages (1 paper in 2012). However, the annual number of published articles from 2017 to the present appears to be generally increasing. This trend implies that the application of value co-creation in this field is gaining academic attention and is becoming an emerging research area. Based on this trend, we anticipate seeing more studies on this topic published in the following years.

figure 2

Publication Years with research methods

Regarding research type, 14 papers (52%) conducted quantitative research, employing statistical analysis, structural equation modeling, and data mining methods. Meanwhile, 11 papers (41%) conducted qualitative research using interviews, thematic analysis, and descriptive analysis. Only two papers (7%) used mixed research (combining quantitative and qualitative methods). The survey and interview methods (both individual and group) were found to be more common than other research methods. This suggests that interviews provide greater insight into participant attitudes and motivations, enhancing accuracy in quantitative and qualitative studies. Additionally, certain studies employed content analysis, big data analysis using UGC, and data from online platforms, social media, and big data.

Regarding the publishing journals, we found that 27 papers were published in 22 journals (refer to Table 2 ), where three journals had more than one paper on co-creation value through AI and new technologies in tourism and hospitality, indicating their keen interest in this topic. Most publications were in the Journal of Business Research, with four studies on co-creation value through AI and new technologies in tourism and hospitality. Two related studies were published in the Tourism Management Perspectives and Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. This distribution indicates that most current research on co-creation value through AI and new technologies in tourism and hospitality was published in journals in the tourism and hospitality management field. However, some journals in the computer and AI field have also published papers on co-creation value through AI and new technologies in tourism and hospitality, including Computers in Industry, Computers in Human Behavior, Computational Intelligence, and Neuroscience.

Regarding data analytics tools, SmartPLS, AMOS, NVivo and PROCESS tools are the 5 most popular software graphic tools used in studies, while Python and R are the two main types of programming languages used. In total, 27 studies, 14 refer to using AI applications and data analytics in this research flow. Metaverse and relative technologies such as AR and VR were included in 8 studies. Three studies used service robots to discover the value co-creation process. There are include two studies that have used chatbots and virtual assistants.

Publication years and journals

In recent systematic literature reviews focusing on general services, tourism, and hospitality, there has been a notable emphasis on traditional factors shaping customer experience [ 26 , 67 , 68 ]. However, this study uniquely positions itself by emphasizing the digital age’s profound impact on value co-creation within this sector. The subsequent part digs more into the specifics of this study, building on these parallels. The detailed findings offer nuanced insights into how value co-creation in tourism and hospitality has evolved, providing a more extensive understanding than previous works.

Result 1—technology viewpoints: What are the main types of AI and new technologies used to enhance value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industries?

Several types of AI and new technologies have been used to enhance co-creation values in the tourism and hospitality industry. Nowadays, AI, ML, and deep learning can all be used to enhance customer value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industry [ 42 , 69 , 70 ]. There are some AI applications identified through the review process:

First, personalization and customized recommendations: AI and ML can be used to analyze customer data, such as their past bookings, preferences, and reviews, to personalize recommendations and experiences for them [ 7 , 69 , 71 , 72 ]. Cuomo et al. examine how data analytics techniques, including AI and ML, can improve traveler experience in transportation services. Applying AI and ML can help customers discover new experiences and activities they may not have considered otherwise [ 13 ]. Relating to data mining applications, Ngamsirijit examines how data mining can be used to create value in creative tourism. Moreover, the study also discusses the need for co-creation to create a successful customer experience in creative tourism and ways data mining can enhance the customer experience [ 73 ].

Second, user-generated content and sentiment analysis: ML and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used to analyze user-generated content such as reviews and social media posts to understand customer needs and preferences [ 12 , 37 ]. This can help businesses identify opportunities to create customer value [ 74 ]. NLP can analyze customer reviews and feedback to understand the overall sentiment toward a hotel or destination [ 75 ]. This can help businesses identify areas for improvement and create a better customer experience [ 70 ]. In the study using NLP to analyze data from Twitter, Liu et al. examine the impact of luxury brands’ social media marketing on customer engagement. The authors discuss how big data analytics and NLP can be used to analyze customer conversations and extract valuable insights about customer preferences and behaviors [ 74 ].

Third, recent deep learning has developed novel models that create business value by forecasting some parameters and promoting better offerings to tourists [ 71 ]. Deep learning can analyze large amounts of data and make more accurate predictions or decisions [ 39 , 41 ]. For example, a deep learning model could predict the likelihood of a customer returning to a hotel based on their past bookings and interactions with the hotel [ 72 ].

Some applications of the latest technologies that have been used to enhance co-creation values in tourism and hospitality include

Firstly, Chatbots and virtual assistants can enhance customer value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industry in several ways: (i) Improved customer service: Chatbots and virtual assistants can be used to answer customer questions, provide information, and assist with tasks such as booking a room or making a reservation [ 45 ]. These tools can save customers and staff time and improve customer experience [ 76 ]; (ii) Increased convenience: Chatbots and virtual assistants can be accessed 24/7, meaning customers can get help or assistance anytime [ 50 ]. These tools can be handy for traveling customers with questions or who need assistance outside regular business hours [ 44 ]; (iii) Personalization: Chatbots and virtual assistants can use natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to customer inquiries in a more personalized way [ 45 , 70 ]. This can help improve the customer experience and create a more favorable impression of the business. Moreover, this can save costs and improve customers [ 16 ].

Secondly, metaverse technologies can enhance customer value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industry in several ways: (i) Virtual tours and experiences: Metaverse technologies can offer virtual tours and experiences to customers, allowing them to visit and explore destinations remotely [ 77 ]. This technology can be beneficial for customers who are unable to travel due to pandemics or who want to preview a destination before deciding to visit in person [ 49 ]; (ii) Virtual events: Metaverse technologies can be used to host virtual events, such as conferences, workshops, or trade shows, which can be attended by customers from anywhere in the world [ 9 ]. This can save time and money for businesses and customers and increase the reach and impact of events; (iii) Virtual customer service: Metaverse technologies can offer virtual customer service, allowing customers to interact with businesses in a virtual setting [ 25 ]. This can be especially useful for customers who prefer to communicate online or in remote areas; (iv) Virtual training and education : Metaverse technologies can offer virtual training and education to employees and customers [ 41 ]. Metaverse can be an effective and convenient way to deliver training and can save time and money for both businesses and customers [ 7 ]; (v) Virtual reality (VR) experiences: Metaverse technologies can be used to offer VR experiences to customers, allowing them to immerse themselves in virtual environments and participate in activities that would be difficult or impossible to do in the real world [ 77 ]. This can enhance the customer experience and create new business opportunities to offer unique and memorable experiences [ 71 ].

Thirdly, IoT and robots can enhance customer value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality sector in several ways: (i) One way is by providing personalized and convenient customer experiences [ 12 ]. For example, hotels can use IoT-enabled devices to allow guests to control the temperature and lighting in their rooms, as well as access hotel amenities such as room service and concierge services [ 50 ]; (ii) In addition, robots can be used to provide assistance and enhance the customer experience in various ways [ 16 , 40 ]. For example, robots can be used to deliver items to guest rooms, assist with check-in and check-out processes, and provide information and directions to guests [ 12 ]; (iii) Both IoT and robots can be used to gather customer feedback and data in real-time, which can help to improve the quality and effectiveness of tourism and hospitality services [ 76 ]. For example, hotels can use IoT-enabled devices to gather data on guest preferences and needs, which can be used to tailor services and experiences to individual customers. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty [ 76 ]. Overall, using IoT and robots in the tourism and hospitality sector can help improve the industry’s efficiency and effectiveness and enhance the customer experience.

Result 2—academic viewpoints: What are the future research directions in customer value co-creation through AI and new technologies in the tourism and hospitality sector?

From an academic perspective, there are several potential future research directions in customer value co-creation through the digital age in the tourism and hospitality sector. Some possibilities include: (1) Understanding how different technologies and platforms facilitate co-creation: Researchers could investigate how different technologies and platforms, such as social media, mobile apps, or virtual reality, enable or inhibit co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industry; (2) Investigating the impact of co-creation on business performance: Researchers could examine the relationship between co-creation and business performance in the tourism and hospitality sector and identify the factors that drive success in co-creation initiatives; (3) Investigating the impact of AI and automation on co-creation: As AI and automation technologies become more prevalent in the industry, research could focus on the impact these technologies have on co-creation and value creation, including the potential for AI to facilitate or hinder co-creation; (4) Investigating the impact of the Metaverse on customer behaviour: Research could focus on understanding how the Metaverse affects customer behaviour and decision-making, and how companies can use this information to facilitate co-creation and value creation [ 9 ]; (5) Analysing the use of social media and other digital platforms for co-creation: Researchers could study how companies in the tourism and hospitality sector use social media and other digital platforms to facilitate co-creation with customers, and the impact that these platforms have on value creation [ 7 , 45 , 78 ]. Researchers could investigate how social interactions and communities in the Metaverse enable or inhibit co-creation in the tourism and hospitality industry and the impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty; (6) Examining the ethical implications of the Metaverse and AI: Researchers could explore the ethical considerations surrounding the use of the Metaverse and AI in the tourism and hospitality sector, such as issues related to privacy and data security, and the potential for these technologies to perpetuate or exacerbate societal inequalities [ 48 , 75 , 77 ].

Result 3—Management viewpoints: How do managers in the tourism and hospitality sector apply AI and new technologies to enhance customer co-creation value and drive business success?

There are several ways managers in the tourism and hospitality industry can apply AI and new technologies to enhance customer experiences and drive business success. We suggest four main possibilities: (1) Implementing chatbots or virtual assistants to encourage customer co-creation: Managers can use chatbots or virtual assistants to provide quick and convenient customer service, helping businesses respond to customer inquiries and resolve issues more efficiently [ 76 ]. Then, encourage customer co-creation by inviting customers to participate in the creation of new experiences and products by gathering feedback and ideas through online forums and focus groups [ 45 ]. This can help build a sense of community and engagement and can also lead to the development of new, innovative products and experiences that will attract more customers [ 50 , 79 ]; (2) Leveraging personalization technologies and using predictive analytics: Managers can use AI-powered personalization technologies to analyze customer data and preferences and offer personalized recommendations and experiences [ 42 , 72 , 80 ]. This can help businesses better understand and anticipate customer needs and create more tailored and satisfying experiences that drive co-creation value. Managers can leverage AI-powered predictive analytics technologies to analyze data and predict future customer behavior or trends [ 75 ]. This can help businesses anticipate customer needs and make informed decisions about resource allocation and planning, enhancing co-creation value. Managers can use personalization technologies and predictive analytics to analyze customer feedback and identify areas for improvement [ 37 ]. These can help businesses better understand customer needs and preferences and create more satisfying and valuable experiences that drive co-creation value [ 7 , 36 , 41 ]; (3) Using the Metaverse to facilitate co-creation: Managers can leverage the Metaverse to allow customers to design and customize their own experiences, which can help create value in collaboration with customers [ 25 , 71 , 77 ]. Managers can use VR and AR technologies to create immersive and interactive customer experiences in the Metaverse [ 81 ]. This can help businesses differentiate themselves and stand out in a competitive market. Managers can use data analysis tools to understand how customers behave in the Metaverse and use this information to create more personalized and satisfying experiences [ 9 ]. Managers can leverage the Metaverse to facilitate co-creation with customers, for example, by enabling customers to design and customize their own experiences [ 49 , 81 ]. This can help businesses create value in collaboration with customers; (4) Integrating AI-robotics into operations to support value co-creation: Analyse your business processes to identify tasks that can be automated using AI-powered robotics, such as check-in and check-out, room service, or concierge services [ 12 , 82 ]. Managers can consider using AI-powered robots for tasks such as check-in and check-out or for delivering amenities to guests. Use AI and the latest technologies to streamline the booking and check-in process, making it faster and more convenient for customers [ 16 ]. This can include using virtual assistants to handle booking inquiries or facial recognition technology to allow customers to check in at their hotel simply by showing their faces. These can help businesses reduce labor costs and improve efficiency, enhancing co-creation value [ 16 ]. We summarize three viewpoints in Fig.  3 below.

figure 3

Summary of value co-creation through the Digital Age in Tourism and Hospitality

Combining these three viewpoints as a research agenda for tourism and hospitality in the AI and digital age holds immense potential. It addresses critical aspects such as customer experience enhancement, leveraging customer-generated content, and exploring cutting-edge technologies to create value co-creation opportunities. Researching these areas allows the industry to stay at the forefront of the digital revolution and deliver exceptional customer experiences that drive business success in the next few years.

Discussion and implications

This study aimed to develop a systematic literature review of customer value co-creation in the hospitality and tourism industry using the PRISMA protocol [ 27 ]. The study findings highlighted that tourism and hospitality should take advantage of AI and new technologies, as it brings significant advantages. Value co-creation in the tourism and hospitality sector refers to creating value through the collaboration and participation of multiple stakeholders, including tourists, employees, and the industry [ 2 ]. AI, Metaverse, and other new technologies can significantly enhance value co-creation in this sector by enabling more personalized, immersive, and efficient tourist experiences [ 40 , 80 , 81 ].

From a technology viewpoint, the study reveals that manifestations of customer value co-creation through the digital age are related to AI and the latest technologies such as Metaverse, robots, IoT, chatbots, intelligence systems, and others that shape co-creation [ 42 ]. AI applications and new technologies can help shape customer value co-creation in this sector. AI can follow the rules, think like an expert, learn from data, and even create virtual and augmented reality experiences [ 4 , 10 ]. Chatbots, personalization, predictive analytics, and robotics are examples of how AI and technology can create unique and fun travel experiences [ 16 , 40 , 74 , 83 ].

From an academic viewpoint, researchers look at ways technology can help people enjoy their travels and stay in hotels by boosting the value co-creation process [ 2 ]. They are looking at how different technologies, like social media, can help people create value for themselves and others [ 45 , 84 ]. They are also looking at how AI and the virtual world can change people’s decisions and how companies can use this information to help people [ 77 , 80 ]. Finally, researchers are looking into the ethical issues of using technology in tourism and hospitality [ 48 , 75 , 77 ].

From the manager’s viewpoint, managers in the tourism and hospitality industry can use AI and new technologies to create better customer experiences and drive success [ 70 , 80 ]. These can include using chatbots or virtual assistants to help customers and get their feedback [ 50 , 76 ], using personalization technologies to understand customer needs [ 69 ], using the Metaverse to have customers design their own experiences [ 10 ], and using AI-robotics to automate tasks [ 16 , 82 ].

In light of the findings from this systematic literature review, policymakers in the tourism and hospitality sectors must revisit and revitalize current strategies. Embracing digital age technologies, especially AI and metaverse tools, can significantly enhance customer value co-creation. This necessitates targeted investments in technology upgradation, capacity-building, and skilling initiatives. While the initial resource allocation may appear substantial, the long-term returns regarding elevated customer satisfaction, increased tourism inflow, and industry-wide growth are undeniable. Policymakers must ensure a collaborative approach, engaging stakeholders across the value chain for streamlined adoption and implementation of these advancements.

Overall, the use of AI, Metaverse, and other new technologies can significantly enhance co-creation value in the tourism and hospitality sector by enabling more personalized, immersive, and efficient experiences for tourists and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry as a whole [ 15 ].

Theoretical implications

The systematic literature review using the PRISMA method on customer value co-creation through the digital age in the tourism and hospitality sector has several theoretical implications.

First, this research paper addresses earlier suggestions that emphasize the significance of further exploring investigations on customer value co-creation in the hospitality and tourism sector [ 2 , 85 ].

Second, the review highlights the importance of adopting a customer-centric approach in the tourism and hospitality industry, in which customers’ needs and preferences are central to the design and delivery of services [ 35 , 86 ]. This shift towards customer value co-creation is driven by the increasing use of digital technologies, such as the IoT, AI, and ML, which enable real-time communication and data gathering from customers [ 1 , 40 ].

Third, the review highlights the role of digital technologies in enabling personalized and convenient customer experiences, which can help improve satisfaction and loyalty [ 87 ]. Using AI-powered chatbots and personalized recommendations based on customer data can enhance the customer experience, while using IoT-enabled devices can allow guests to control and access hotel amenities conveniently [ 12 ].

Fourth, the review suggests that adopting digital technologies in the tourism and hospitality sector can increase the industry’s efficiency and effectiveness [ 88 ]. Businesses use ML algorithms to automate tasks and analyze customer data, which can help streamline processes and identify areas for improvement [ 39 , 80 ].

Overall, the systematic literature review using the PRISMA method sheds light on adopting a customer-centric approach and leveraging digital technologies for customer value co-creation in tourism and hospitality. Over the next five years, researchers should focus on exploring the potential of emerging technologies, developing conceptual frameworks, and conducting applied research to drive meaningful transformations in the industry. By aligning strategies with these implications, organizations can thrive in the dynamic digital landscape and deliver exceptional customer experiences, ultimately contributing to their success and competitiveness in the market [ 2 , 4 , 15 , 29 , 33 , 89 ].

Practical implications

The systematic literature review using the PRISMA method on customer value co-creation through the digital age in the tourism and hospitality sector has several management implications for organizations in this industry.

First, the review suggests that adopting a customer-centric approach, in which customers’ needs and preferences are central to the design and delivery of services, is crucial for success in the digital age [ 40 , 86 ]. Therefore, managers should focus on understanding and meeting the needs and preferences of their customers and consider how digital technologies can be leveraged to enable real-time communication and data gathering from customers [ 15 , 80 ].

Second, the review highlights the importance of using digital technologies like the IoT, AI, and ML to enable personalized and convenient customer experiences [ 40 , 50 ]. Managers should consider how these technologies can enhance the customer experience and improve satisfaction and loyalty [ 36 , 39 ].

Third, the review suggests that adopting digital technologies in the tourism and hospitality sector can lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness in the industry [ 7 , 16 ]. Therefore, managers should consider how these technologies can streamline processes and identify areas for improvement [ 42 ]. Further, regarding privacy concerns, managers must spend enough resources to secure their customers’ data to help boost the customer value co-creation process [ 48 , 77 ].

Fourth, policymakers can foster an environment conducive to value co-creation by incorporating customer-centric strategies and leveraging digital technologies. Effective policies can enhance customer experiences, promote sustainable growth, and drive economic development, ensuring a thriving and competitive industry in the digital age.

The practical implications of applying AI and new technology for managerial decision-making in the tourism and hospitality industry are vast and promising [ 90 ]. Managers can navigate the dynamic digital landscape and drive meaningful co-creation with customers by embracing a customer-centric approach, leveraging personalized technologies, addressing efficiency and data security considerations, and strategically adopting AI-powered tools. By staying abreast of technological advancements and harnessing their potential, businesses can thrive in the next five years and beyond, delivering exceptional customer experiences and enhancing value co-creation in the industry.

Limitations and future research

The research, anchored in the PRISMA methodology, significantly enhances the comprehension of customer value co-creation within the digital ambit of the tourism and hospitality sectors. However, it is essential to underscore certain inherent limitations. Firstly, there might be publication and language biases, given that the criteria could inadvertently favor studies in specific languages, potentially sidelining seminal insights from non-English or lesser-known publications [ 91 ]. Secondly, the adopted search strategy, governed by the choice of keywords, databases, and inclusion/exclusion guidelines, might have omitted pertinent literature, impacting the review’s comprehensiveness [ 57 ]. Furthermore, the heterogeneous nature of the studies can challenge the synthesized results’ generalizability. Finally, the swiftly evolving domain of this research underscores the ephemeral nature of the findings.

In light of these limitations, several recommendations can guide subsequent research endeavors. Scholars are encouraged to employ a more expansive and diverse sampling of studies to curtail potential biases. With the digital technology landscape in constant flux, it becomes imperative to delve into a broader spectrum of innovations to discern their prospective roles in customer value co-creation [ 18 ]. Additionally, varied search strategies encompassing multiple databases can lend a more holistic and inclusive character to systematic reviews [ 27 ]. Moreover, future research could investigate the interplay between political dynamics and the integration of novel technologies, enriching the understanding of value co-creation in a broader socio-political context. Lastly, integrating sensitivity analyses can ascertain the findings’ robustness, ensuring the conclusions remain consistent across diverse search paradigms, thereby refining the review’s overall rigor.

In conclusion, this review highlights the pivotal role of digital technologies in customer value co-creation within the tourism and hospitality sectors. New AI, blockchain and IoT technology applications enable real-time communication and personalized experiences, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Metaverse technologies offer exciting opportunities for immersive interactions and virtual events. However, privacy and data security challenges must be addressed. This study proposed a comprehensive research agenda addressing theoretical, practical, and technological implications. Future studies should aim to bridge research gaps, investigate the impact of co-creation on various stakeholders, and explore a more comprehensive array of digital technologies in the tourism and hospitality sectors. This study’s findings provide valuable insights for fostering innovation and sustainable growth in the industry’s digital age. Despite the valuable insights gained, we acknowledge certain limitations, including potential biases in the search strategy, which underscore the need for more inclusive and diverse samples in future research.

Availability of data and materials

The review included a total of 27 studies published between 2012 and 2022.

Change history

07 february 2024.

A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1186/s43093-023-00293-2

Abbreviations

  • Artificial intelligence

Augmented reality

Internet of Things

Machine learning

Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

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Dang, T.D., Nguyen, M.T. Systematic review and research agenda for the tourism and hospitality sector: co-creation of customer value in the digital age. Futur Bus J 9 , 94 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43093-023-00274-5

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130+ Hospitality Research Topics: Great Ideas

Hospitality research topics

A research paper is mandatory for all students to graduate from a course, including hospitality courses. Research in the hospitality industry can be easy if you have the right topic. So, one of the first things you should prioritize before starting your hospitality research is finding an excellent topic.

Great Hospitality Industry Research Topics

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A good topic for research in hospitality will serve as the foundation for your paper. It will also attract readers and trigger interest in your paper. Are you looking for a research title in the hospitality industry that guarantees a top grade? Check out the following examples in this article:

Research topics on the hospitality industry should focus on the key and hot topics faced in the sector. Here is a list of research titles for hotel and restaurant management:

  • The origin and meaning of the word hospitality
  • How different cultures view hospitality
  • An in-depth look into the impacts of the COVID pandemic on the hospitality sector
  • Hospitality and tourism: what is the link?
  • Hospitality and hotel management: a comprehensive analysis
  • The role of hospitality in the tourism sector
  • Essential elements of the hospitality sector
  • A strategic analysis of the hospitality sector in your country
  • Etiquette in the hospitality sector
  • Hospitality industry wages: what is fair?

An argumentative essay topic should state your opinion on a subject so you can argue it in the essay. Some argumentative essay topics on the hospitality industry are:

  • Travel bans triggered by the COVID pandemic negatively impacted the hospitality sector
  • The impacts of global trends on the hospitality sector
  • Hospitality ethics: an in-depth analysis
  • The relationship between a host and guest about hospitality
  • The contributions of the hospitality sector to global economic growth
  • Sustainability as a global trend in the hospitality sector
  • The development of sustainability in the hospitality sector
  • Challenges encountered by the hospitality sector in the 21 st century
  • Technology as a tool for change in the hospitality sector
  • Hospitality in Christian and Islam culture

Creativity is a vital element when choosing a research topic. It will make your essay stand out and attract readers. Here are some great examples of research topics about hospitality management and their reasons:

  • Qualities of an effective hotel manager
  • How customer service can influence the quality of hotel management
  • Full-service vs. limited-service hotels: the difference in their hotel management
  • How large hotels conduct revenue management
  • Hotel management in European nations
  • How can hotel management impact an establishment’s success?
  • Financial accounting is a critical part of hotel management
  • Hotel management: a comprehensive overview
  • The impact of the internet on hotel management
  • The role of hotel management on guest satisfaction rates

You should always find social media research topics for your hospitality research paper. Check out the following hospitality research topics:

  • The impact of social media on the hospitality sector
  • How companies in the hospitality sector take advantage of the power of the internet
  • The social media influencer trend and its impact on the hospitality sector
  • How hospitality practitioners use the internet to enhance their services
  • Hospitality training and the internet
  • Technology as a tool for hospitality training
  • The role of the internet in hospitality diversification
  • Social media and its impact on hospitality diversification
  • Strategic ways for hospitality companies to take advantage of technology and the internet
  • Social media and hospitality: the correlation

An excellent research title can play a vital role in earning good grades. Find a sample of a thesis statement about social media and more titles about hospitality management below:

  • What is the role of a hotel manager
  • Types of hotel managers in large establishments
  • Core issues in the hospitality management sector
  • Salary expectations for hotel managers
  • The core roles of facility managers in the hospitality sector
  • Hospitality as a virtue independent of the hospitality sector
  • Factors that prevent hospitality managers from providing effective services
  • Hotel marketing management: a comprehensive assessment
  • Hotel revenue management: a comprehensive assessment
  • Hotel management in your country

Tourism and hospitality often go hand in hand. So, you can cover the two elements in your research paper if you have an ideal topic that brings these concepts together. Check out the following research topics for STEM students :

  • The tourism and hospitality sector after the coronavirus pandemic
  • The long-term effects of travel bans on the tourism and hospitality sector
  • What is the way forward for the tourism and hospitality sector after the pandemic?
  • Online tourism: an in-depth analysis
  • Advances in the tourism and hospitality sector
  • Social advancing and tourism management: a comprehensive overview
  • Medical tourism: an analysis
  • Impacts of social media on the tourism and hospitality sector
  • Impacts of government regulations on the tourism and hospitality sector
  • The impacts of natural hazards on the tourism and hospitality sector

Sustainability research topics are critical for all tourism and hospitality students. Find research topics and ideas for tourism students related to sustainability below:

  • Sustainability in the tourism sector
  • Tourism sustainability: perspectives of guests and practitioners
  • Sustainable tourism as a tool for heritage and culture preservation
  • A study of sustainable tourism in mountainous destinations
  • The practice of sustainable tourism in island destinations
  • Challenges encountered in sustainable tourism
  • The impacts of sustainable tourism on the digital world
  • Sustainable tourism efforts for disaster prevention
  • The impacts of the pandemic on sustainable tourism
  • How is sustainable tourism measured?

A creative research title will show your reader what to expect from the rest of your paper. It creates a good first impression. Find a good thesis title or professional thesis writer about the hospitality industry below:

  • Tourism marketing and sustainable tourism: an in-depth study
  • Hospitality and tourism in emerging economies
  • The correlation between ecotourism and sustainable tourism
  • The impacts of politics in the hospitality sector
  • An evaluation of local tourism and hospitality sectors
  • The profitability of the hospitality sector
  • How governments can improve their hospitality sectors
  • The effect of local communities on the hospitality and tourism sector
  • Sustainability is a critical trend in the hospitality sector
  • A comparative analysis of the hospitality sector in the US and Europe

Hotel and restaurant management are significant topics in the Philippines. So, writing a good essay on these topics can come in handy for your academic performance. Find a good research title about hotel and restaurant management below:

  • Hotel and restaurant management ethics in the Philippines
  • Hotel and restaurant management laws in the Philippines
  • Why should hotels invest in restaurants?
  • The concept of perverse hospitality in the Philippines
  • Hotel and restaurant management salaries in the Philippines
  • The role of the Philippino government in hotel and restaurant management policies
  • Strict hotel and restaurant management policies in the Philippines
  • Smoking bans in hotels in the Philippines
  • Fair wages in the hotel and restaurant management sector in the Philippines
  • The concept of hospitality in Philippino hotel and restaurant management

Students studying social sciences can write research papers on hospitality management because these subjects are related. Find a research topic about hospitality management that covers social issues below. All social issues research topics are actionable.

  • Hospitality training for hotel workers
  • Flight attendants and hospitality: an overview
  • How to conduct hospitality training for flight attendants
  • How hotel managers can maximize profits in the hospitality sectors
  • Challenges experienced in hospitality management
  • Barriers to success in hospitality management
  • The value of the hospitality sector for the global economy
  • Hospitality management and augmented reality: an in-depth overview
  • Safety precautions in hospitality management since the CORONA pandemic
  • How local governments depend on the hospitality sector

The hospitality management sector and the economy industry often influence each other. So, you can write a paper that explains their link. Here are some economic research paper topics in hospitality management:

  • How hospitality economics impact overall country economics
  • How the hospitality sector can improve their profits
  • Challenges hindering the hospitality sector from growth
  • Hospitality laws and profitability: the correlation
  • The best ways the hospitality market can improve their finance management
  • Finance management in hospitality: an overview
  • Personalization as a tool for promoting growth in the hospitality sector
  • Countries that benefit the most from the hospitality sector
  • Inbound tourism: its impact on the global economy
  • Tourism and hospitality as tools for economic growth

Hospitality management is a popular course; all students must complete a research paper to graduate. So, you ought to be creative with your paper, especially the title, so it does not look like anyone else’s. Let us look at some excellent hospitality management thesis topics:

  • The best tourist attractions
  • Tourism management perceptions according to various cultures
  • Diverse views of hospitality management
  • Can hospitality management be taught?
  • An in-depth look at ways hospitality management can be trained
  • Hospitality management training for restaurant workers
  • Key elements in hotel management
  • How hotel management can influence its customer satisfaction rates
  • How many managers should a hotel have
  • Management and hospitality: a comprehensive guide

The hospitality management sector is prone to many changes. So you can easily find a current topic for your research paper. As you check out the hospitality thesis topics highlighted below, take some time to read about anatomy research paper topics .

  • How competitive is the hospitality management sector?
  • Causes of the high turnover in the hospitality sector
  • Strategies that guide management organizations in the hospitality
  • Hospitality management in Australia
  • How the hospitality sector does employee management
  • Basic training elements for hospitality management
  • What type of training do hospitality management practitioners go through?
  • The value of hospitality management
  • Changes in hospitality management brought about by the internet
  • How online reviews influence the hospitality management sector

Choosing the right topic is the first step to writing a good research or thesis paper in hospitality management. However, many students struggle to prepare quality research papers. If you are one of such students, worry not because we have got you covered.

You can trust us with your research paper writing needs. Our writers will help you create a paper that matches your quality topic to earn you excellent grades. Contact our writers today and get your quality research paper in no time. Feel free to read more on biochemistry topics .

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Home > USC Columbia > Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management, College of > Hospitality and Tourism Management > Hospitality and Tourism Management Theses and Dissertations

Hospitality and Tourism Management Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

Platform of Growth: An Analysis of Earnings and Social Media Engagement Among Esports Athletes , Colleen Marie Dibble

Capturing Visuals in Hospitality: A Multi-Dimensional Exploration of Photographs in Interdisciplinary Research , Ningqiao Li

Employee Experience in the U.S. Casual Dining Restaurant Industry: Conceptualization, Scale Development, and Effects on Employees’ Retention , Xiao Ma

Effects of AI Voice Assistants’ Messages on Pro-environmnetal Consumer Behavior: Message Content and Voice Attributes , Somang Min

An Examination of Celebrity Product Involvement and Endorsement Effectiveness , Eric Nichols

Southeastern Conference (SEC) International Student-Athlete (ISA) Career Transitions - A Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Perspective , Tsu-Lin Yeh

The Impact of Interactivity on Information Processing for Virtual Tourist Destinations , Hongxiao Yu

Decoding Trustworthiness and Helpfulness of Online Reviews In Hospitality: A Reader-Centric Perspective , Xiaonan Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

Customer Touchpoint: Conceptualization, Index Development, and Nomological Validation , Hyunsu Kim

“No Tits in the Pits!”: An Exploratory Analysis of the Experiences of Female Decision Makers in Motorsports in the United States , Alexia Pedo Lopes

Affective Risk Perceptions Toward Travel in a COVID Era: Policy and State Political Influences , Chloe Riley

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

“The Lifeblood of College Sports”: The NCAA’s Dominant Institutional Logic and the Byproducts of an (Over)emphasis on Recruiting , Chris Corr

Customers’ Acceptance of Automated Hotel , Jianhong Feng

Effects of Information Exposure, Emotions, and Self-Efficacy On Risk Perception and Travel Intention During the COVID-19 Pandemic , Chunsheng Jin

Positioning Customer Service Through Customer Journey Mapping in Service Consumption and Recovery , Dan Jin

Does the Tendency of Loss Aversion Depend On The Level of Competition? Evidence From Multilevel Esports Tournaments , Zeqing Mao

The Impact of Social Media Account Types on Travel Intention , Nuri Seo

Technology Experience: Measurement Development and Validation , Hyejo Hailey Shin

Why Do Tourists Accept Lodging Through Accommodation Sharing Platforms? Model Development and Model Comparison , Ge Zhu

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

The Downside of National Team Identity: A Model to Measure Negative Outcomes of Team Identity , Fei Gao

Newcomer Student-Athlete Perceptions of Coaches’ Socialization Strategies: Scale Development , Evelyn Su Jara-Pazmino

Comparing the Success of Official Sponsors and Ambush Marketers: An Event Study Analysis of Brazil Following the 2014 Fifa World Cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games , Timothy Koba

The Impact of Hotel Service Robot Appearance and Service Attributes on Customer Experience , Chuhan Thomsen

The Economic Impact of Tennis in South Carolina , Xue Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

The Importance of Twitter to Destination Marketing Organizations , Tatiana Allgeyer

Finding the Perfect Match: Dimension Analysis and Development of the External Sponsorship Congruence Scale , Kelly Evans

Premium Seating in College Athletics: Trends of Today and the Future , Kendra Holaday

“WE NEED DAWGS!”: Narrative Construction of Athletic Identity Among Black High School Football Players , Victor Dion Kidd

Measuring Long-Term Advertising Effects in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry , Rui Qi

Selling Rooms and Making Money in the Lodging Industry: Analyzing the Effects of RevPAR and GOPPAR Together , Thomas Rogers

Investigating Managerial Priority of Environmental Inputs and Outputs in Public Assembly Venues , Walker Ross

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

College Students and Corporate Social Responsibility: An Examination of Corporate-Social Responsible Behavior in College Athletics From the Students’ Perspective , R. Jacob Gilbert

An Analysis Of Perceptions Of Restaurant Authenticity At Food Tourism Destinations In The Southeastern U.S , Jamie A. Levitt

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Motivation To Play Esports: Case of League of Legends , Yaoyao Sun

Theme Park Demand, Theme Park Attractiveness, and Visitors’ Theme Park Choices , Yingsha Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

An Examination Of Destination Choice Behavior Using Meme Maps, Images and Decision Making Styles , Hilmi Atahan Atadil

Memorable Dining Experiences: Formative Index And Model Development , Yang Cao

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

The Influence of Warmth and Competence Perceptions on Employees’ Attitudinal and Behavioral Responses in Casual Dining Restaurants , Diego Riva Humbert Bufquin

Media Effect on Resident Attitude Toward Hosting the Olympic Games: A Cross-National Study Between China and the USA , Qiulin Lu

Self-Determination Theory and Wellness Tourism: How Do Wellness Facilities Contribute to Wellbeing? , Karen I. Thal

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Understanding Destination Choice from a Cultural Distance Perspective , Hongbo Liu

Revisiting Gender Constraints and Benefits in Leisure Tourism: Man-Up, It’s Time to Travel Like a Woman , Holly L. Rabin

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Responding to Tripadvisor: How Hotel Responses to Negative Online Reviews Effect Hotel Image, Intent to Stay, and Intent to Return , Tiffany Avant

An Analysis of The Possibilities of Applying The North American Management Model to Most Large-Scale Sports Facilities in China , XI LI

Examining Long-Haul Chinese Outbound Tourists' Shopping Intentions , Pei Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Is the Current United States Tennis Association's Adult League System Restrictive? , Edward Horne

Manager Training In the Hotel Environment and Its Effect On Employee Turnover Intentions , Kristin Marie Malek

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

Examining Japanese tourists' U.S.-Bound Travel Constraints , Lin He

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

Hotel Guests' Intentions to Choose Green Hotels , Amy Elizabeth Jackson

Green Inside and Out: Case Study On Green Events In Large Public Assembly Facilities , Peyton Jeter

Theses/Dissertations from 2009 2009

Motivations and Constraints of Chinese Outbound tourists: A Case Study , Chengting Lai

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Experience management in hospitality and tourism: reflections and implications for future research

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN : 0959-6119

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

This paper aims to provide a critical reflection on the management of experiences in hospitality and tourism (H&T). The paper investigates the evolution of experience research, while discussing the emerging challenges and opportunities for management.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a critical and reflective approach for providing future directions of experience research. Three major fields are identified to discuss advances, challenges and opportunities in experience research: conceptualization and dimensions of experiences; relational network for experience management; and theoretical and methodological approaches.

The paper proposes a mindset shift to guide experience research, but also to redirect and research thinking and managerial practices about the role of experiences in the economy and society. This proposed humanized perspective to experience research and management is deemed important given the contemporary socio-economic, environmental and technological challenges of the environment.

Research limitations/implications

This paper identifies a set of theoretical and managerial implications to help scholars and professionals alike to implement the humanized perspective to experience research. Implications relate to conceptualization, relational network and theoretical and methodological approaches in experience research.

Originality/value

This study critically assesses research challenges and opportunities around customer experience management (CEM) in H&T contexts. This reflective and critical look at customer experiences not only informs future research for advancing knowledge and practice but also proposes a mindset shift about the role and nature of CEM in the society and economy.

  • Experience design
  • Experiencescape
  • Eudaimonic well-being
  • Transformation

Agapito, D. and Sigala, M. (2024), "Experience management in hospitality and tourism: reflections and implications for future research", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management , Vol. 36 No. 13, pp. 57-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-11-2023-1722

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Dora Agapito and Marianna Sigala.

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

1. Introduction

Experience has garnered increasing attention in several disciplines ( Godovykh and Tasci, 2020 ) and businesses in general ( Waqas et al. , 2021 ). This interest was fuelled by seminal works – such as Holbrook and Hirschman (1982) – establishing the perspective of hedonic consumption in consumer behavior, according to which the conventional product value proposition based solely on functional values does not suffice for differentiation. Later, Pine and Gilmore’s work (1998) popularized the experience economy as the next stage of economic development, posing experiences as an added value offer to tangible products and services. Subsequently, customer experience management (CEM) was widely advocated as a critical success factor for gaining business competitiveness ( Schmitt, 1999 ; Waqas et al. , 2021 ). Given the experiential nature of hospitality and tourism (H&T), it is not surprising that the customer experience also attracted the interest of numerous tourism academics and professionals, boosting a stream of abundant research over the 21st century ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ).

the organization viewpoint, i.e. how to design, implement, manage and market compelling experiences to customers;

the customer perspective, i.e. how individuals assess their experiences; and

the cocreation-oriented perspective, i.e. how customers cocreate consumption experiences and associated meanings with multiple stakeholders.

Successful experience management should consider all these three perspectives. However, despite the apparent research saturation, the theoretical and methodological approaches traditionally adopted in experience research present some limitations constraining the advancement of knowledge and practice in how to conceptualize, measure and manage experiences.

For example, as concerns experience design, when companies claim they “offer an experience,” they refer to a designed experience that can be managed. This perspective aligns with the experience economy paradigm and related experiential marketing approaches, conceptualizing experiences as individuals’ internal responses derived from “emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual levels of consumer engagement” ( Pine and Gilmore, 1998 , p. 99). Based on this perspective, experience management is limited to the use of stimuli (e.g. colors, scents and music) for directing the customers’ attention and enhancing customer engagement around a coherent theme/concept ( Pine and Gilmore, 1998 ; Schmitt, 1999 ).

Despite the validity and practicality of this perspective, it sees customer experience as an episodic and static event instead of a dynamic and cocreated process where a customer navigates through a “journey” composed of multiple touch-points (physical and digital) with which customers interact during “moments of truth” shaping the perception of the experience ( Lemon and Verhoef, 2016 ). Indeed, customer experiences are increasingly conceptualized as emerging and being affected by numerous interactions between customers and products/brands, companies and their staff and other customers and/or (virtual) communities. Such encounters are not always under the company’s control, but they significantly affect what experiences customers have and what meaning they assign to them. Indeed, recent perspectives (such as the service-dominant logic) recognizing the customer as experience and value cocreators were also introduced into tourism literature a decade ago ( Carvalho and Alves, 2023 ). Technological advances and applications significantly support and enhance customer participation and cocreation ( Shin and Kang, 2024 ) and optimize sensory stimuli ( Agapito, 2020 ). Hence, it is unsurprising that systematic literature reviews in value cocreation (e.g. Carvalho and Alves, 2023 ) identify technology as a key driver of experience management in H&T. However, the continuous technological evolution (e.g. generative artificial intelligence (AI), metaverse and robots) not only enriches tourism experiences but also transforms them and enables new experiences, necessitating the adoption of new theoretical lenses and methodologies to understand the technology disruptions and the newly introduced challenges.

Challenges and limitations are spotted not only in the design and management of experiences but also in the definition and measurement of experiential outcomes. Early research was heavily directed toward experiential outcomes, focusing on the behavioral and cognitive consumers’ outcomes (e.g. satisfaction and loyalty). More recently, the research interest shifted to the psychological and spiritual outcomes (e.g. well-being and uplifting of quality of life) for customers and the wider society alike (e.g. Fan et al. , 2023 ; Godovykh and Tasci, 2020 ; Kim and So, 2022 ; Tasci and Pizam, 2020 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). To better capture and measure the multidimensional and multilevel outcomes of experiences, it is imperative to rethink the theoretical and methodological approaches to understand CEM better.

new technology-driven and enabled experiences;

new tools for understanding the (new) experiences; and

a shift of mindset and theoretical perspectives for understanding and resetting the role and the impact of experiences not only on business competitiveness but also on people, the economy and the society alike.

The rise of the experience economy can be seen as a major driver and boost to our capitalistic and consumerism economy, society and mentality. However, sustainability and humanistic concerns should make researchers and professionals think of experiences not as ends in themselves for achieving company and customer benefits but as a means to a social end, uplifting communities’ well-being and driving socioeconomic change and transformation.

For example, the critical review from Hwang and Seo (2016) proposes a framework of CEM research based on antecedents (internal/external factors) and consequences (e.g. emotional, behavioral and brand-related outcomes). This reflexive research advocates the relevance of a holistic approach to the design of an experience that can last in memory, “in which multidimensional value can be delivered through multiple, sequential stages of experience” (p. 2240). While the authors state the experience cocreation can lead to a sustainable experience in the sense that it can be “life transforming” or “perspective transforming,” it is key also to consider how contemporary challenges (e.g. technology) and a nonlinear approach to CEM based on humanized perspective can add the evolution of CEM frameworks. Overall, a reflective and critical look at CEM is required not only to guide future research and advance knowledge but also to equip H&T professionals with valuable insights on addressing our contemporary and other upcoming socioe-conomic changes and challenges.

To that end, this paper adopts a critical and reflective approach ( Hwang and Seo, 2016 ; Liu-Lastres et al. , 2023 ) rather than a historical development, which has been well-captured by systematic literature reviews with that purpose (e.g. Kim and So, 2022 ; Rahimian et al. , 2021 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). A “critical reflection paper does not always assume a standard methodology” ( Liu-Lastres et al. , 2023 , p. 237). However, an integrative critical review approach can be used to examine, critique and synthesize the literature on a given topic, allowing new theoretical frameworks and perspectives to emerge. This approach is adequate for mature research topics, such as experience management ( Snyder, 2019 ). Thus, through critical reflection, this paper identifies challenges and opportunities in experience management in H&T. The conducted integrative review follows three main areas that have been the most addressed in review papers on CEM ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ; Waqas et al. , 2021 ): conceptualization and dimensions of experiences; relational network for experience management; and theoretical and methodological approaches in experience research.

2. Conceptualization and dimensions of experiences

From an experiential marketing perspective, experiences have been conceptualized as the customers’ internal responses to environmental stimuli ( Pine and Gilmore, 1998 ; Schmitt, 1999 ). This view aligns with the experience economy paradigm, assuming that companies can create conditions to facilitate perceived positive and meaningful experiences. Such conceptualization of experiences does not differentiate intentionally designed experiences from spontaneous ones, does not consider the cocreation and the codestruction role that customers and other actors can have on experiences, and does not consider the fact that companies are not the sole actors controlling experiences. Moreover, it is crucial to differentiate the stimuli of the designed experience and the outcomes from the experience itself. Personal and situational factors moderating people’s responses to stimuli and their experiences are also relevant because stimuli do not influence individuals per se . Godovykh and Tasci (2020) managed to capture all these aspects by defining customer experience as the combination of “cognitive, affective, sensory, and conative responses, on a spectrum of negative to positive, evoked by all stimuli encountered in pre, during, and post phases of consumption affected by situational and brand-related factors filtered through personal differences of consumers, eventually resulting in differential outcomes related to consumers and brands” (p. 5).

Systematic reviews of tourism and hospitality marketing/management research identify a plethora of definitions of customer experiences ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Rahimian et al. , 2021 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). In general, there is a consensus around the idiosyncratic, subjective and contextual nature of experiences. Definitions also tend to focus on the internal individual responses to (intentionally company-designed) stimuli (e.g. sensory and affective) aiming to trigger and involve customers’ interactions and engagement with products, services, companies, staff and other consumers. Similar conceptualizations of customer experience can also be found in systematic reviews of general customer experience marketing/management (e.g. Waqas et al. , 2021 ). Generic and tourism research differ in the use of various terminologies (e.g. “customer,” “user,” “consumer,” “guest,” “visitor,” “traveler” and “tourist”) and the identification of different forms/types of experiences ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). These differences are unsurprising as the study findings result from different application contexts. Developing a unified definition and typology of experiences is required but challenging. A consensual definition should be general and abstract enough to be applicable in different consumption contexts but also agile and practical so that it can consider contextual factors.

The conceptualization of experiences as responses to stimuli has also influenced early research investigating the composition of experiences, which identified experience dimensions corresponding to the stimuli triggering the experiences; these studies have not reached a consensus. For example, some studies ( Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ) identify five components (affective, cognitive, sensory, social and behavioral), as proposed by Schmitt (1999) , while others identified relational elements but embedded them into the affective dimension ( Brakus et al. , 2009 ). Pine and Gilmore (1998) used two criteria (type of customer participation and customer immersion or absorption into the environment) and proposed four realms of experience, namely, entertainment, education, escapism and aesthetics. This 4E typology of experiences has been widely used in H&T to assess customer experiences in various contexts ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). While some authors consider the 4E typology (operationalized by Oh et al. , 2007 ) adequate to assess the customer experience itself, other authors have used such an experiential scale to gauge experiencescape stimuli (e.g. Mody et al. , 2017 ). However, the literature stresses the need to differentiate the experience itself from the stimuli present in the surroundings where experiences emerge (i.e. the experiencescape) ( Godovykh and Tasci, 2020 ; Packer and Ballantyne, 2016 ; Selem et al. , 2023 ; Tasci and Pizam, 2020 ). This is because people’s experiences result from perceptual processes, including both bottom–up (based on external stimuli elements) and top–down mental processes (related to previous knowledge, memories and expectations) ( Goldstein and Brockmole, 2017 ). In this vein, Brakus et al. (2009) advocated that measures of customer (brand) experience should assess the degree to which the individual has the experience (considering all different dimensions, e.g. sensory, intellectual and affective) instead of focusing on the content/stimuli affecting the experience. This need to distinguish experiential dimensions from the stimuli driving them is also confirmed by the fact that studies using the same measures to assess environmental stimuli and customer experiences lead to no comparable findings.

Other authors have proposed updated typologies for researching customer experiences. For example, Packer and Ballantyne (2016) proposed a multifaceted visitor experience model based on ten facets: physical, sensory, cognitive, emotional, hedonic, restorative, introspective, transformative, spiritual and relational. Authors agree that all these components of experiences can appear simultaneously and to different degrees, and the emotional component is likely involved in most types of tourism-related experiences ( Skavronskaya et al. , 2017 ). Also, researchers increasingly recognize not only the restorative facet of experiences but also their spiritual and transformative dimensions (e.g. by being able to trigger mental and cognitive processes of self-exploration, reflection and self-development). Literature discussions about regenerative tourism experiences are soaring ( Fan et al. , 2023 ; Hwang and Seo, 2016 ; Kim and So, 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). The latter are usually defined as experiences that not only replenish but also generate new resources, positively contributing to the sustainable development goals of destinations and communities. Tourism can reach its greatest potential by creating conditions for people’s life-changing and meaningful experiences. Organizations and researchers should look at how to facilitate the journey for transformation, considering reflection and integration of aspects such as being involved in unfamiliar (and sometimes difficult) activities, appreciating different settings and interacting with new people ( Robledo and Batle, 2017 ).

Despite this plethora of studies, little is still known about how different components of customer experience work in combination, what the contribution of each component to the total experience is, and how organizations can manage stimuli to trigger ideal experiences and different levels considering different individuals’ profiles, for example. These questions are yet to be answered in H&T contexts ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Rahimian et al. , 2021 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ).

3. Relational network for experience management: antecedents driving experiential outcomes

The previous section shows that research investigating the nature and dimensions of experiences acknowledges the multidisciplinary nature of the concept. In this vein, literature (e.g. Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ) contextualizing customer experience in H&T defines it as a construct comprising multidimensional facets of responses (e.g. emotional and intellectual) that result from interactions with external stimuli (e.g. social, physical and company-related), together with customer personal-related factors (e.g. motivation and mindfulness) and situational factors (e.g. travel companions).

This conceptualization of customer experience (as a relational network of antecedents, experiences and outcomes) has important practical implications for experience management, as it differentiates between antecedents of customer experiences, types/dimensions of customer experiences and potential consequences derived from customer experiences ( Agapito, 2020 ; Kim and Fesenmaier, 2017 ; Godovykh and Tasci, 2020 ). Managers can identify which factors affect and lead to specific types of desired experiences to address these factors in experience design and, subsequently, deliver different experiences that can generate specific “company promised” and “desired” outcomes. Agapito (2020) claims the objective of experience design (which is an important stage of experience management) is to develop a connection between users (tourists), design elements and the contexts of interactions. Managers in H&T compete for the tourists’ scarce attention, so the appropriate stimuli should be used to direct the tourists’ attention. For example, managers can shape emotional responses and direct the individuals’ focus to specific stimuli ( Skavronskaya et al. , 2017 ). Moreover, because different motivational orientations can lead to different experience outcomes, understanding customers’ goals and motivations is key to management decisions, such as market segmentation and customer mixology, to help managers group customers together so that the experience of one customer does not negatively affect the experience of another (i.e. cocreation/codestruction view of experience).

The conceptualization of customer experience as a relational network has also influenced numerous studies investigating how to design and manage experiences. These studies mainly understand experience cognition as embodied and situated in diverse environments, adopting an ecological approach to psychology, which deems sensory systems as active rather than passive and, therefore, recognizes individuals’ agency. In this vein, studies investigate both the environment (stimuli) and the individuals’ perspective of the surrounding world ( Carlson, 1997 ). Examples of some indicative studies are discussed below.

3.1 Antecedents of customer experiences

Kim and Fesenmaier (2017) developed a framework explaining the creation process of tourism experience, which depicts psychological filters (e.g. goals, prior experiences, culture and travel companions) that affect perception and, therefore, cause alterations in individuals’ responses toward the external stimuli. This approach is based upon general models of human-environment interaction by expanding the information-processing perspective. In addition, cognitive appraisal theories advocate that emotions emerge as a response to an internal evaluation of an experience in light of the individual’s personal goals and motivations.

In examining CEM in the hotel sector, Rahimian et al. (2021) work provided evidence of the role of individual factors (e.g. customers’ socio-demographics and psychographics) in affecting customer experiences, which, in turn, highlights the need for managers to understand, profile and segment customers prior to designing experiences and delivering them (e.g. mixing and grouping similar customer and customizing storytelling to clients’ profiles). Packer and Ballantyne (2016) also identified similar internal factors impacting the visitor experience (e.g. previous experiences, interests, expectations and motivations). By reviewing two decades of customer experience research in tourism and hospitality, Kim and So (2022) identified and classified the drivers of customer experience into the following categories: motivational, social and behavioral, cognitive, value-related and technological. By conducting a systematic literature review solely in the hotel industry, Veloso and Gomez-Suarez (2023) concluded a similar categorization of experience drivers: cognitive and sensory drivers (e.g. brand reputation, perceived service quality and sensory marketing, price); behavioral drivers (e.g, autonomy, WOM and engagement); environmental drivers (e.g. environmental sustainability); and technological drivers (e.g. sense of presence, robot service and preview mode). Some studies have also investigated the use of stories and mindfulness techniques (as a type of company stimuli) to direct consumers’ attention to a specific theme/concept. Despite being under-researched in H&T, storytelling has great potential to enhance innovative CEM, design and cocreation ( Moscardo, 2020 ).

Overall, studies distinguish the experience drivers between internal (consumers’ socio-demographics, psychographics and culture) and external (brand-related stimuli). Subsequently, studies limit experience design to touch-points (e.g. atmospherics and social environment), which are related to external stimuli controlled by the company ( Rahimian et al. , 2021 ). In this vein, most research on experience management adopts the stance that companies can influence experience by following appropriate experience design principles. This approach is manifested in the widely adopted concept of servicescape (and its design elements), which has also dominated experience research in H&T and has been operationalized in various contexts (e.g. winescape, festivalscape, eventscape, destinationscape and museumscape) ( Agapito, 2020 ; Fong et al. , 2022 ; Tasci and Pizam, 2020 ).

Consequently, few studies take an approach that experiences can also emerge spontaneously because cocreation and codestruction processes taking place simultaneously among various actors of a service ecosystem determine the lived idiosyncratic experience of every actor. In fact, Zha et al. (2023) introduced a model for CEM in H&T grounded in the paradox management theory. While managing the customer journey to address anticipated individuals’ feelings and fantasies, one should also consider existential (activity-based) authenticity, acknowledging the sociocultural background individuals bring to the experience, beyond object-related authenticity. Moreover, the creation of meaningful narratives extends beyond themed experience elements focused on brand-related orientations. Spontaneity, surprise and embodied experiences are identified as contributors to increased engagement and the perception of extraordinary experiences. The holistic approach to the aspects enhances the formation of long-lasting memories. To navigate the complexities associated with managing these variables, managers can acquire “sociomaterial resources” and implement compensatory strategies to address paradoxes. While the researchers acknowledge the intricate and multiphasic nature of the customer journey ( Lemon and Verhoef, 2016 ), discussions on incorporating a humanized perspective into the managerial approach to enhance the customer experience in H&T contexts are still needed. Although research about value codestruction has appeared in experience research, we still lack approaches and methodologies to identify, measure and manage the codestruction aspect of customer participation in experiences. Noteworthy, exploring experiential value from a service-ecosystem approach is a complex process requiring network and stakeholder theories and approaches because a value exchange/interaction among actors may create value for one actor and destroy the experience of another actor ( Guan et al. , 2020 ).

Given the increased digitization of tourism operations and the wide adoption of digital/phygital experiences, technology is recognized as a key external element that organizations should consider when designing and managing experiences in our digital era. The literature identifies various factors impacting individuals’ interpretation and, therefore, need to be managed to ensure the design and delivery of effective digital experiences, such as the use of digital storytelling and the integration of various customer touch-points and business operations to ensure a seamless and personalized customer experience along the whole customer journey – before, during and after the trip experience – ( Rahimian et al. , 2021 ; Sigala, 2018 ; Zhu et al. , 2023 ). For example, the management of phygital experiences blurring the virtual with the real world has become a priority for companies. However, this is complex and demanding, as it requires understanding how customers mix and interchange between virtual and real experiencescapes along their whole customer journey, how they perceive and interact with virtual and real service actors, objects and touch-points, and how this customer behavior affects their perception, interpretation, assessment and outcomes of the lived experiences.

Overall, there is an urgent need to use theoretical and methodological approaches to investigate experience management and outcomes that can go beyond the company-controlled “staged” and stimuli-designed experience, and instead consider experience management at an ecosystem level representing a network of actors who cocreate or codestroy experiences and outcomes by interacting and exchanging resources. Furthermore, knowledge about customers’ behavior, perceptions, interactions and reactions with synthetic service actors, digital actors, virtual humans, synthetic experiencescapes’ elements and metaverse experiencescapes is limited. The wide technology terminology and lack of consensus regarding the definition of all these terms further obstruct research and our understanding of technology-enriched and generated experiences.

3.2 Outcomes of customer experiences

While understanding the experience antecedents focuses on the activities and sensory environments that companies can use to influence and drive experiences, efforts to measure and monitor the outcomes of experiences refer to the final stage of CEM. This stage heavily focuses on whether the experience outcomes for consumers and companies align with the experience design purposes ( Rahimian et al. , 2021 ), reflecting a company-centric approach to experience management.

Research examining experience outcomes has also encountered difficulties in classifying them. In developing a sensory marketing model, Kim and Fesenmaier (2017) identified major potential consequences of tourist-based experiences related to attitudes, learning/memory and behavior. In their systematic reviews of tourism and hospitality literature, Kim and So (2022) and Veloso and Gomez-Suarez (2023) proposed classifying experience consequences into cognitive (e.g. brand knowledge, perceived service quality, brand trust and attitudes), affective/hedonic (e.g. delight, satisfaction, pleasure, feelings, happiness and well-being) and behavioral (e.g. word of mouth, loyalty and spending behavior) outcomes. The studies have also focused on identifying the factors moderating the outcomes and classified the former into individual filters (e.g. memories) and social influences (e.g. group interaction), which, in turn, consider the idiosyncratic nature of experiences and the social context (cocreation) whereby experiences take place ( Kim and So, 2022 ; Waqas et al. , 2021 ).

Other authors (e.g. Godovykh and Tasci, 2020 ; Tasci and Pizam, 2020 ) categorized outcomes between those achieved for companies/brands (e.g. brand commitment, brand loyalty, brand image, place/destination attachment, intentions and deviant behaviors) and outcomes for consumers (e.g. well-being, transformative benefits and quality of life). An increasing number of studies (e.g. Fan et al. , 2023 ; Packer and Ballantyne, 2016 ) pay critical attention to the currently important psychological/transformative consumer outcomes such as learning new skills, life-changing experiences and restoration. Research focusing on behavioral-related outcomes (e.g. customer emotional responses, satisfaction and loyalty) reflects a company-oriented perspective of experience management that is mainly interested in the hedonic aspects of consumption. On the other hand, emergent empirical studies highlighting other outcome variables associated with the eudaimonic elements facilitated by sensory experiences reflect a more human-oriented approach to experience management ( Agapito, 2020 ). However, although some studies confirm the impact of “transformative” experiences on consumer well-being (e.g. Fan et al. , 2023 ), a systematic literature review of these studies ( Zhao and Agyeiwaah, 2023 ) revealed that the spiritual transformation type is ignored or mixed with psychological transformation.

Most studies are contextual-based and conducted at one point in time. Consequently, outcomes are valid only for the specific sample and context of the experience design under investigation. Hence, findings allow limited generalizations across tourism consumption contexts, consumer cultures and/or generational groups. Studies conducting systematic literature reviews of specific types of tourism experiences (e.g. transformative, dark and memorable experiences, respectively, in Zhao and Agyeiwaah, 2023 ; Rajasekaram et al. , 2022 ; Hosany et al. , 2022 ) have also concluded the same reality, i.e. that the findings of studies focusing on specific forms of tourism experiences are only valid for those consumption contexts. This research approach also does not allow for capturing experience-driven changes throughout the customer journey and time. In addition, when considering the relational network of experiences, many internal and external stimuli (such as memory and related conscious feelings) may change during the experiential dynamic process, resulting in different outcomes. Research has also failed to address the outcomes of experiences at a greater macrolevel (e.g. impacts on the economy, destinations and societies, such as the impact of themed experiences on the maintenance or distortion of local culture and values) and from a higher-order perspective (e.g. the impact of experiences on the mindset of consumers and society institutions). However, understanding the latter types of outcomes is becoming important given the general “accusations” of the experience economy supporting a consumerism society and its negative impacts on the environment, people’s well-being and society’s values.

Research has not yet fully explained how and what “transformative” experiences processes and elements can convert transformational needs into types of consumer well-being. Given the increasing customers’ concerns and expectations about well-being as shown above, it becomes apparent that experience management should adopt a more human-oriented perspective to experience outcomes. Experiences should no longer be managed and seen as a resource consumption process, but as a way for regenerating one’s own and the society’s resources.

4. Theoretical and methodological approaches in experience research

Recent studies conducting systematic reviews on customer experience in H&T ( Hosany et al. , 2022 ; Kim and So, 2022 ; Rajasekaram et al. , 2022 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ; Zhao and Agyeiwaah, 2023 ) provide useful insights into the methodological and theoretical approaches that have been used to investigate the field. The systematic reviews reveal a heavy dominance of studies adopting quantitative research in relation to a smaller number of studies using qualitative approaches and methodologies and few studies using mixed methods.

Qualitative approaches have been justified by the highly subjective and contextual nature of experiences. Studies using quantitative methods mainly use self-reported methods (e.g. questionnaires) that adopt experience measuring scales measuring previously validated in different contexts. In this vein, these studies also face their own methodological challenges. For example, the most frequently used scale for measuring customer experiences is the one developed by Brakus and colleagues (2009) because it is general enough to be applied in any brand-consumption-related context. However, while this scale allows comparisons, results give limited help to managers in identifying specific aspects to improve experience design and management. Another scale that is also heavily used is the one developed by Oh et al. (2007) (and its related adaptations) because it was derived from the widely accepted experience economy framework proposed by Pine and Gilmore (1998) . However, the literature provides controversial results about its use since some studies deem this scale adequate, while other studies report that it cannot cover all types of experiential contexts and related activities. Hence, there is still a need to develop a consensual scale for measuring experience that can consider the diversity of the experience contexts and settings existing in H&T and generate useful and practical insights for the industry.

collecting and analyzing new types of (bio)data (e.g. heart rate, neuron activation, hormones, facial expressions and body motion); and

provide more effective ways to analyze data that can reveal new dimensions of how people react, perceive and understand environmental stimuli and experiences in various settings both private and public.

Generative AI can not only scan and understand the operations of the human brain and its reaction to various stimuli, but it can also predict human reactions and, subsequently, personalize customer experiences in real-time. Nevertheless, technologies raise numerous ethical, moral, security and legal issues regarding collecting and using such (bio)data for designing and delivering stimuli to direct people’s experiences and outcomes. Consumers’ reactions to such technology-driven and managed experience will also vary depending on their cultural background, political, philosophical or even spiritual/religion ideology and values.

Moreover, although many studies focus on behavioral outcomes, few use experimental research to assess behavioral change. This approach is deemed more adequate compared to other instruments (e.g. structural equation modeling) when the aim is to assess causality between stimuli and action. When considering the dynamic nature of customer experiences, there is also an increased need for longitudinal studies to investigate the evolution of experiences across different stages. Longitudinal studies can deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of the customer experience, reveal how and why experiences change/evolve, highlight changes to customer outcomes across time/stage and offer practical recommendations for managing experiences as a dynamic rather than a static phenomenon ( Agapito, 2020 ; Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ).

Experience research can also evolve by reflecting and challenging the theories and constructs we have traditionally used to study the field. For example, the stimuli-organism-response (S.O.R.) model has been deemed useful and extensively used in CEM research. However, we should use it cautiously and avoid assumptions that stimuli influence behavior per se . The S.O.R. model (which is carved in environmental psychology) supports that stimuli present in the environment affect individuals’ emotional states, which, in turn, can result in approach or avoidance responses. This perspective is advanced and embedded into holistic frameworks (such as servicescape and related expanded frameworks), which acknowledge that psychological processes (e.g. goals or purpose, expectations and personality traits) operate as moderating and mediating factors between stimuli and organism ( Kim and Fesenmaier, 2017 ; Tasci and Pizam, 2020 ). Based on this approach, it is not the stimuli per se but the cognitive perception of surroundings that elicit emotions. Attention fatigue is also a growing issue in contemporary societies. In this vein, there is an emerging opportunity for research to adopt a diversion approach from the over- or mis-use of stimuli for experience management or for research to focus on the use of specific stimuli to restore human attention and contribute to subjective well-being ( Qiu et al. , 2021 ).

Research and practice about consumer experiences in digital contexts have also been dominated by specific approaches and models that may not be fully adequate to capture all experiential aspects and current technological evolutions. For example, companies tend to anthropomorphize all aspects of customer experiences across various servicescape platforms or devices (e.g. anthropomorphic robots, voice assistants/chatbots with human voice and names, e.g. Alexa, Siri). Literature highlights the business benefits of anthropomorphism since, to an extent, the more anthropomorphic a technology is perceived, the greater the likelihood that it can lead to more positive feelings. Studies also indicate that the over-the-limit provision of humanlike characteristics to experience design can lead to consumer reactance, fear, and anger, based on the uncanny valley theory ( Christou et al. , 2020 ). In fact, many studies on digital experiences (e.g. Fang et al. , 2024 ) adopt theories and models (e.g. social influence theory and parasocial interactions) following this anthropomorphism mindset paradigm.

However, theories that conform to the uncanny valley paradigm are limited by its underlined assumption that people compare technology objects/environments to a human ideal. Nowadays, people have been exposed to (or even born with) solely or mainly digitally enriched and/or generated experiences, which, in turn, have now become their comparison benchmarks. For example, people (specifically the young generations) have been widely and for long exposed to and interacted with digitally enabled and generated experiences (e.g. synthetic storytelling experiences and humans by using technology to create digital replicas of humans, virtual influencers and virtual brand ambassadors representing companies on social media). Recent findings (e.g. Koles et al. , 2024 ) show that when people know they interacted with technology, they report no problem. In fact, they evaluate their experiences by judging the authenticity of the “robots.” Some individuals seem to be familiar with the perception and reality that technology has become, and it can be an experience platform or partner, a social actor or an experience agent. Consumers use a “technology ideal” and not a “human ideal” to evaluate their digital experiences. We currently know little about this technological ideal ( Christou et al. , 2020 ). How will people react, perceive and feel about experiences designed, driven, delivered and/or controlled by technological agents (e.g. digital humanity, digital immortality, explanatory generative AI)? In what ways can experience research become more inter, cross- and multidisciplinary to investigate the complexity of experiences generated by technology?

in new settings (e.g. metaverse, technology-augmented experiences);

for consumer populations that are underexplored; and

for the new experiences that are enabled and even generated and synthesized by technologies.

For example, there is a heavy dominance of the visual aspect of tourism experiences. But how do visually impaired individuals experience tourism? How do people that cannot smell or taste, experience food or wine tourism? Future research should use theoretical approaches emphasizing the interplay of stimuli and perceptions (e.g. mental images of people) and consider synesthesia (the combined impact of diverse senses) to unravel the hidden dimensions of experiences of people with sensory disabilities ( Agapito, 2020 ; Liu et al. , 2024 ). Similarly, research can also focus on understanding how people in technology-supported environments feel and perceive the existence of others not being physically present ( Shin and Kang, 2024 ). Constructs such as “social presence” and “being there” do not necessitate stimuli to trigger people’s senses and emotions. However, current research tells us little about the psychological processes that make people experience the presence or absence of others in technology environments or how people interpret interactions in technology environments. For example, what does it mean or feel that an avatar walks through another avatar or that an avatar teleports itself to another digital destination? Is the latter a travel experience as we currently define it? Research in digital experiences has so far focused on how it is technologically possible to replicate human senses in digital environments (e.g. digitizing birds’ songs and adding human faces and voices into chatbots). However, advances in brain scan technologies and neuroscience may lead to the near future humans do not need to sense a trigger to perceive it through generative AI. Opportunities and challenges are numerous.

5. Conclusions and implications

5.1 conclusions.

This research critically reflected on experience management literature in H&T, focusing on challenges and opportunities around conceptualization and dimensions of experiences, relational network and theoretical and methodological approaches. Figures 1 and 2 depict two major mindsets that have influenced the evolution of experience research: the company perspective and the customer perspective, respectively. Figure 3 illustrates a mindset shift to a humanized perspective. This reflection showed the relevance of redirecting research thinking and industry practices, considering the role of experiences in our economy, society and daily life. A mindset represents a set of beliefs, assumptions or methods influencing a person or group ( Dweck, 2006 ). Mindsets are found to drive learning, research and knowledge, which, in turn, influence the human behavior and actions of managers, employees and consumers. In academia and management, mindsets are used to show how beliefs, values and ways of thinking can shape perception and action in research and industry ( Neeley and Leonardi, 2022 ).

Experience research started and flourished from research in hedonic consumption and the realm of the experience economy that characterized experiences as the next stage of economic development (e.g. Pine and Gilmore, 1998 ). Figure 1 depicts how this mindset shaped a company perspective to experience research, which viewed experiences as an offer that companies can design, sell and deliver to achieve differential business benefits. Overall, under a company perspective mindset, experiences were conceptualized as people’s responses to environmental stimuli. Subsequently, research approaches and methodologies were developed to help companies design and produce “staged” experiences by selecting and using environmental stimuli that can lead to desired business outcomes, while impacting internal factors that may moderate or mediate the generation of the experiential outcomes. Customers are seen as economic agents aiming to achieve hedonic outcomes. Because of this, it is not surprising that research is focused on investigating positive experiences, such as the stimuli that can be used to lead to positive company outcomes and the factors that can make experiences memorable, as these experiences generate greater company benefits, such as image, revisit, repurchase and positive WOM.

Figure 2 illustrates how experience research has evolved to a customer perspective mindset under the influence of new approaches, bringing a fresh perspective to service research (e.g. value cocreation and service-dominant logic). Under this mindset, experiences are conceptualized to be cocreated with customers. In this vein, experiential dimensions need to consider the degree and type of customer participation and engagement with experiences, while companies need to find ways to manage the value cocreation as well as the value codestruction role and participation of the customer. Customers are perceived as partial employees whose engagement is secured by ensuring the achievement of mutual benefits between companies and customers. Hence, consumer outcomes should not only include cognitive, affective and behavioral outcomes that mainly translate to business benefits, but they should also consider the satisfaction of higher-order human needs, such as self-development, status and self-aspiration ( Veloso and Gomez-Suarez, 2023 ). Although this mindset recognizes the eudaimonic dimension of well-being (and not only hedonism), the focus on happiness elements does not differ much from the company perspective, considering that both mindsets reflect experience research that is rooted and aims to satisfy economic growth.

We propose a humanized perspective to experience ( Figure 3 ), which represents a major mindset shift in relation to past research. In this mindset, experiences should be investigated and “managed” as a continuous state of mind (and not as an episodic relational network of controlling stimuli to derive desired outcomes), which guides and influences the thinking, behavior, lifestyle and mission/purpose of companies and customers alike. The humanized perspective to experience diverts the focus from an individual perspective, emphasizing inner processes aiming to achieve egoistic self-well-being, to a community focus aiming to understand the pathways in which individuals’ well-being can contribute and/or lead to community well-being and wider societal transformation. By managing and participating in experiences as an opportunity to serve humanity, this mindset can reset the role, direction, aims and impacts of experience on humans, companies, economies and societies at a macrolevel ( Fisk et al. , 2020 ). A humanized perspective to experience research and management can help shift thinking and actions away from a capitalistic, individualistic, economic growth mentality, while probing companies to provide experiences that promote and communicate values, institutions and beliefs supporting a more sustainable and responsible economy and society.

5.2 Theoretical and practical implications

Our critical and reflective approach supports that a humanized perspective on CEM requires major changes in how individuals think and implement research and how industry conducts its business. For example, by drawing on the wine tourism context, Sigala and Rentschler (2019) discussed the theoretical and practical implications of a cellar door synergizing with the art industry to design a creative servicescape using various stimuli and storytelling to trigger people’s minds and creativity to self-reflect on their lifestyle, values and interactions with others. The authors explain how the cellar door views its role as an enabler of inspirational wine experiences that aim to instill a culture of moderation in wine consumption and appreciation by helping people understand the role of wine production and consumption for their own and local communities’ well-being. A sociocultural ecosystem theoretical approach was used to measure the social value and community impact of this third generation of wine tourism experiences (as named by the authors), which also demonstrates that embedding a humanized perspective into experience management is possible and increasingly appreciated by both demand and supply.

The theoretical and practical implications of the humanized perspective are numerous and intertwined. The proposed mindset theoretically conceptualizes experiences not as a “consumption commodity” or as an end in themselves for achieving economic benefits, but as a means to a human-end, as an agent of socio-economic change and transformation leading to a betterment and uplifting of people’s and communities’ well-being. This mindset aligns with transformative-service research aiming to “humanize” experiences ( Fisk et al. , 2020 ) and regenerative tourism research striving to use tourism as a means to achieve sustainable and responsible growth in destinations and communities. Therefore, this approach contributes to the current debate about the role of tourism and the achievement of UN sustainable development goals, as it provides a pathway on how experiences can be designed ( Agapito, 2020 ) to lead to human and society flourishing and well-being, responsible consumption and production. This mindset approach highlights that for achieving society wide benefits and transformation, humanized experiences need to be embedded into people’s/companies’ everyday practices as well as become part of one’s/companies’ worldviews. For this to happen, it is not enough to design experiencescapes, but also to identify and use appropriate qualitative and quantitative metrics and research methodologies to measure and guide the desired transformation at individual but also society level.

Current research heavily focuses on measuring transformation at an individual level and only a short period after the experience ( Zhao and Agyeiwaah, 2023 ). The proposed mindset implies future research to use longitudinal studies looking at change at various longer-term windows, both at individual and societal levels, aiming to understand and unravel the interrelations between individual and community/societal transformation. More research is warranted at the postexperience stage to understand what can facilitate or inhibit individual/societal change after the experience. From a practical perspective, companies should invest in embedding a humanized perspective within the fabric of their experience design, including training their service staff on the required humanized mindsets and skills (e.g. empathy, responsibility and philosophical values). Research should help identify needs for new skills and job descriptions for which companies need to educate and attract relevant talent. Table 1 summarizes some of the major theoretical and practical implications that humanized experiences entail for academics and professionals guiding their future actions.

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Company perspective to experience research

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Customer perspective to experience research

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Humanized perspective to experience research

Humanized perspective to experience research: questions related to theoretical and managerial implications

Theoretical implications Managerial implications

Humanized experiences: state-of-mind guiding customers’ and companies’ activities/purpose
Why experience research can facilitate change in business/consumer markets?
To what extent can experience research influence education paradigms to facilitate shifts in mindset?
To what extent can experience research drive and nurture mindset shift in other disciplines?
In what ways can tourism/hospitality organizations and destinations set/adjust their purpose in line with socioeconomic trends and technological challenges?
How do tourism and hospitality companies embed their corporate purpose within value chain activities and functions, e.g. marketing, HR and accounting?
What should tourism/hospitality companies do to implement their purpose adequately?
Theoretical approaches In what ways experience research can embed findings and approaches from other disciplines to understand the increasing complexity and implications of “new” experiences, specifically the ones supported and generated by technologies?
To what extent adopting multi, cross-, inter or even antidisciplinary approaches can contribute to the advance of knowledge of experience management?
What are the moral, legal, ethical, security and privacy issues introduced by technologies in experience research?
How does experience research that uses technology serve humanity?
How to design and deliver humanized experiences through synergies and collaborations with organizations beyond the wider tourism industry (e.g. creative industries, food industry and nonprofit organizations)?
How do we endeavor collaborations with technology-related companies to address the increased digitalization of experiences?
What is the digital corporate responsibility of organizations using technology in experience management, and how can they monitor and implement it?
Contextualization/ operationalization and frameworks of humanized experiences In what ways can humanized experiences be interpreted and implemented within various cultural contexts respecting and appreciating local cultural values and meanings?
Why humanized experiences appeal and drive a shift in mentality and behavior of various generations of tourists?
In what ways can different experiential components (physical and digital contexts) interact with each other and contribute to well-being and transformation?
How do tourism/hospitality organizations from various contexts/settings (e.g. attractions, destinations, accommodation, cruising, restaurants and food/wine tourism, etc.) implement humanized experiences?
What tools, frameworks and guidelines can organizations use to guide and inspire their humanized experience actions?
What new knowledge, skills and (technological) competencies tourism and hospitality organizations need to acquire and/or develop to implement humanized experiences?
Methodology How to develop longitudinal research studies, new scales and metrics to measure/monitor humanized experiences impacts: the betterment of people and communities’ well-being (i.e. micro and macro impact) across time, industries, socioeconomic systems and cultures; driving socioeconomic change, update of institutions, mindsets, values, beliefs and lifestyles?
In what ways can new technology-generated/collected data be used to design humanized experiences and measure their impact?
In what ways can tourism/hospitality organizations change mindsets, measurement/reporting tools and methodologies to monitor and boost their performance and impact beyond economic benefits so that they also consider their impact and contribution on sustainable goals, well-being of people and communities, as well as socioeconomic change?

Source: Authors’ own creation

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Acknowledgements

This paper is financed by National Funds provided by FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology through project UIDB/04020/2020 with DOI 10.54499/UIDB/04020/2020. The authors are grateful for the support of the Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-being (CinTurs).

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Present and prospective research themes for tourism and hospitality education post-COVID19: A bibliometric analysis

Dileep menon.

a Amrita School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, India

b School of Commerce, NMIMS University, Hyderabad, India

Sangeetha Gunasekar

Saurabh kumar dixit.

c Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, North-Eastern Hill University, India

d Xavier School of Communication, Xavier University Bhubaneswar, Plot No. 12 (A), Nijigadakurki, Harirajpur, District- Puri, Odisha, 752050, India

Shantanu Mandal

e Department of Business Analytics, GITAM Institute of Management, GITAM (Deemed -to Be University) Rushikonda, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh-530045, India

Academic research in tourism and hospitality sector adds value directly to the way the industry grows and develops. Scholars in this area struggle with the pressures to publish in high ranking journals. The present study attempts to help doctoral students and tourism educators in identifying emerging themes in the tourism and hospitality arising out after COVID-19 pandemic. Using bibliometric analysis, five broad areas of emerging research themes are identified. Such research would further help managers, tourism related state administrators, and firm owners to recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the industry across the world.

1. Introduction

Given the pressures to ‘publish or perish’ for early career researchers ( Ertaş & Kozak, 2020 ) and for doctoral students to show a strong publication track record by publishing in high-quality journals before graduation ( Carr& Hayes, 2017 ) requires academically oriented research scholars to constantly stay relevant. This is no different for students of the hospitality and tourism industry. The most relevant research in the current scenario is studies related to COVID-19 impact. The outbreak of the current unprecedented pandemic has significantly impacted the tourism and hospitality sector ( Gössling, Scott, & Hall, 2020 ).

Scholars all over the world are trying to make sense of this pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry ( Duarte Alonso et al., 2020 ), its changing trends ( Seyitoğlu& Ivanov, 2020 ) and future survival ( Kaushal & Srivastava, 2020 ). Gursoy and Chi (2020) point out that even when travel restrictions are lifted, customers may not feel comfortable enough to visit a destination, stay at a hotel or eat in a restaurant. Further research is needed to understand how these customers can be made to return as the industry's survival depends on increasing the demand for their services and products. Some studies like Higgins-Desbiolles, (2020) have pointed out the opportunities that this pandemic has given to rethink the tourism industry in terms of community-centered socialized tourism. To help researchers and practitioners understand the pandemic's impact on tourism and hospitality, the present study undertakes a systematic literature review of published articles related to the early wave of COVID-19 and the hospitality and tourism industry. The research questions addressed are as follows: What are the publication trends in the early wave of COVID-19 outbreak in tourism and hospitality research? What are the emerging research foci that the doctoral students in tourism and hospitality education research can focus on during and after the pandemic times?

COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the academic world, testing its ability to effectively move to remote learning ( Greenberg & Hibbert, 2020 ), with all teaching and learning core facets switching to online mode ( Coates, Xie, & Hong, 2021 ). Graduate scholars, driven partly by the institutional requirements and partly through their own career aspirations to pursue academic careers, are under pressure to establish their distinctive research identities through quality publications (VosViewer). Finding relevant research themes early on in their doctoral education improves their chances of getting a top-tier publication. Research indicates a positive relationship between doctoral student's research achievements and their early career earnings ( Marini, 2019 ). The current research is expected to help research students of hospitality and tourism academia narrow down their search for relevant research themes related to the pandemic. The study would also be helpful to practitioners in helping set a direction for the future of this industry.

The paper is organized as below. The next section details the systematic literature review methodology followed and data collected for the research followed by analysis results and discussion section. Future research directions and research limitations are highlighted next. Finally, research conclusions are drawn in the last section.

2. Methods and data

The study aims to review the research relevant to hospitality and tourism and COVID-19 research themes. A systematic quantitative method was applied to identify relevant literature, synthesise and review the past literature in a structured manner ( Kim, 2020 ; Rosalina et al., 2021 ). As a first step to identify relevant literature, the availability and suitability of databases were evaluated. The validity of a research paper depends on the database, as it should cover the research area being studied fairly well. Articles for the study were gathered from the Scopus database, a widely accepted comprehensive research database ( Booth, Chaperon, Kennell, & Morrison, 2020 ) which is among the largest curated bibliographic, abstract and citation databases today, with over 3 million new items being added to it every year ( Baas, Schotten, Plume, Côté, & Karimi, 2020 ). Other researchers have similarly used the Scopus database along with similar databases like Web of Science, Science Direct, Emerald, ProQuest, and Sage ( deMatos et al., 2020 ; Li, M., Yin, D., Qiu, H., & Bai, 2021 ; Agapito, 2020 ).The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology was adopted to select the relevant articles from the database. To increase the reliability of evidence produced by the review, specific steps are laid out under this methodology for the identification of the relevant articles from the database. The flowchart is given in Figure (1) indicates the criteria applied to include or exclude the articles for the study. A similar methodology has been widely used in Hospitality and Tourism reviews ( Booth et al., 2020 ; Li, M., Yin, D., Qiu, H., & Bai, 2021 ).

Fig. 1

PRISMA diagram.

In the first step of identification, a series of keywords were used in combination to search in the Scopus database. To capture articles related to tourism and hospitality, the terms ‘tourism’ or ‘hospitality’ were used. Further to identify literature related to COVID-19, keywords included were ‘Corona’, ‘COVID’ and ‘pandemic’. The combination of these keywords was searched within article titles, keywords and abstracts. The search was restricted to the time period of Jan 2020 to April 2021 (downloaded on 10 th April 2021). Only journal (source type) articles (document type) written in English (language) were included in this study. The initial search yielded 744 articles across 316 journals from various disciplines. To enhance the overall quality of the literature review, only top-tier journals were considered based on the cite score ranking given in Scopus for 2019. Only those journals that were listed in the top 10 percentile were included for further analysis. The top-tier journals lead the research trends in academia with the most notable scientific findings ( Kim, 2020 ). This resulted in the narrowing of the journal list selected to 43 journals with a total of 229 articles. These were further refined by reviewing each of the article title and abstract to guarantee topic appropriateness. Only studies with a primary focus on the COVID-19 and hospitality and tourism were included for the in-depth analysis Articles like (titled) ‘COVID-19 lockdown improved the health of coastal environment and enhanced the population of reef-fish' were excluded. This resulted in the final set of 151 publications that were further synthesised.

2.1. Bibliometric and thematic analysis

In answering the first research question, the present study identifies the hospitality and tourism research trends in COVID-19 using the bibliometric method. The descriptive summary of the 151 articles is undertaken with a focus on leading contributors −authors, institutions, and countries. Data was exported from Scopus to do the analysis. Basic information of each searched article, including the authors’ information (names, countries, and institutions), publication years and journals, total citations, keywords and abstract, were saved to facilitate detailed analysis. Thematic analysis of the articles was further undertaken to identify the newly emerging themes in the study area and thus answer the second research question.

2.2. Thematic analysis

This is the last stage of the PRISMA technique, where synthesis of the findings is done to allow for the production of knowledge about the topic under review. For the 151 articles, based on the abstract, keyword and title of articles, broad categories of research areas were first identified by two authors independently. Altogether, they identified 11 research categories. These were then discussed with two independent experts who are experienced in the area of hospitality and tourism research. The experts helped in further grouping the research areas into 5 broad research categories. After identifying these research areas, each article was reviewed and coded into these categories by two authors separately to ensure objectivity and reliability of the assigning process. For studies that were assigned to different research categories by the two authors, further review was sought with other authors until consensus was reached for all studies. The research areas identified and the number of articles thus assigned to them are Economic impact and demand analysis (18 articles), Hospitality and tourism workforce (19 articles), Customer/tourist studies (35 articles), Crisis management, Resilience and Transformations in touristic industry (71 articles) and Hospitality & Tourism Education (8 articles).

These research categories are further analysed using cluster analysis. Clustering helps group the elements of a study according to their degree of similarity. Several visualization tools are available. We use VOSviewer, a professional visualization software, to undertake keyword co-occurrence network analysis. Since its development by van Eck and Waltman, 2010 , van Eck and Waltman, 2010b , this visualization software has been used by several studies, 1 including studies analyzing bibliographic data in hospitality and tourism research ( Palácios et al., 2021 ). The present study uses this software to analyse keyword co-occurrence clustering using author's keywords and index keywords from the studies.

In the visual maps created by the VOSviewer, the circles show terms with the size of the circle and text of the term, indicating the preference of the term in the study area. The larger the circle and the text, the more preferred the term in the field of study. The distance between the two terms indicates the robustness of the relationship, with a shorter distance indicating a higher relationship. Colours indicate grouping the terms by clusters. Details of keywords included in the clusters can also be derived from the software.

3. Results and discussions

The final corpus of articles for analysis consisted of 151 documents indexed in Scopus. As seen from Figure (2) , the publication of articles relating to COVID-19 and hospitality and tourism research were mostly published in journals related to Business, Management and Accounting (27.4%) and Social Sciences (26.9%). Other subject areas together are seen to contribute less than 50% of the overall number of articles published. Identifying the authors, affiliation and countries along with journals that contributed the most to the research area help future researchers identify important literature in their area of interest. Most researchers set document alerts for their relevant journals. Also, they are seen to follow authors from their area of research on various social platforms like Linkedin or google scholar. We describe the top contributors next.

Fig. 2

Publication by subject area.

3.1. Distribution of authors, countries and affiliation

There were 426 authors who contributed to this area of study, of whom over 32 authors contributed at least 2 or more studies in the top tier journals. The five most contributing authors include Morrison A.M and Coca-Stefaniak J.A with 4 papers each, Hall C.M, Kock F and Filimonau V with 3 papers each respectively. The authors from several countries have contributed to the literature with United States (11.68%) contributing the most, followed by United Kingdom (11.34%), Australia (9.28%), Chine (7.90%) and Spain (3.44%). With regard to affiliation, the University of Johannesburg, University of Greenwich and Griffith University have contributed the most with 7 authors each, followed by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Surrey and the University of Macau with 6 authors each, respectively. Other universities across the globe have also contributed between the range of 1–5 authors. With regard to the number of co-authors for a paper, while the mean was at 2.5 authors per paper, the co-author numbers ranged from 1 (single author papers) to a maximum of 11 authors ( Ibn-Mohammed et al., 2021 ).

3.2. Journal contribution

The review found that the International Journal Of Hospitality Management contributed the highest to the 151 articles, with over 27.7 percent (41 articles) publications, followed by Current Issues In Tourism , with 17.6 percent (26 articles), Tourism Geographies with 16.89 percent (25 articles), Annals Of Tourism Research with 8.78 percent (13 articles) and International Journal Of Contemporary Hospitality Management with 8.11 percent (12 articles). The remaining 31 articles were published across 9 journals, with some indicating 9 articles while others were contributing only 1 article.

3.3. Thematic analysis to identify prominent themes under each area of research

Thematic analysis was undertaken whereby articles were grouped under the following five areas of research as Economic impact and demand analysis (18 articles), Hospitality and tourism workforce (19 articles), Customer/tourist studies (35 articles), Hospitality/tourism industry (71 articles) and Hospitality & tourism education (8 articles). Each research category is further analysed using VOSviewer to help identify the prominent themes emerging in the area of research.

Based on the keywords across the identified studies under each research category, keyword co-occurrences are analysed to identify the major emerging themes. The keyword co-occurrence network analysis results are shown in Fig. 3 , Fig. 4 , Fig. 5 , Fig. 6 , Fig. 7 for all the research categories, respectively. These are discussed in detail next. Further details of the themes identified based on the network analysis under each research area along with the studies that indicate these keywords, are given in Table 1 .

Fig. 3

Network analysis diagram for Economic impact and demand analysis research area.

Fig. 4

Network analysis diagram for Hospitality and tourism workforce related.

Fig. 5

Network analysis diagram for Consumer perspective.

Fig. 6

Network analysis diagram for Crisis management, Resilience and Transformations in touristic industry.

Fig. 7

Network analysis diagram for Hospitality and tourism education.

Identifying research areas, cluster themes and grouping of studies.

Research area IdentifiedCluster themeStudy in the database%
Economics impact and demand analysisEconomic impact ; ; , ; ; .28%
Demand analysis and tourism development ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .44%
Others ; ; ; ; 28%
Hospitality and tourism workforce/employeeOrganizational trust & resilience ; ; ; ; 28%
Job performance & life satisfaction ; ; ; ; 28%
Turnover intentions ; ; 16%
Others ; ; ; ; 28%
Customer/tourist studiesConsumer risk perception ; ; ; ; ; ; 20%
Tourist changing behaviour ; ; ; ; ; 17%
Travel behaviour ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; 34%
Others ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; 29%
Crisis management, Resilience and Transformations in touristic industryCrisis management & sector resilience ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; 35%
Sustainable development ; ; ; ; ; ; ; 11%
Industry transformation and tourism development ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; 16%
Others ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Ramkissoon, 2020; ; Foo et al., 202038%
Hospitality & tourism educationTransformational education ; ; 37%
Hybrid education & blended learning ; ; ; ; 63%

Note: % indicates the percentage of articles in total number of articles under each research area identified.

3.3.1. Research area 1: Economic impact and demand analysis

For the research category of Economic impact and demand analysis , keywords with more than three occurrences were included. In all 18 studies were grouped under this research category. Fig (3) indicates 3 clusters that are identified for this research area. One of the cluster (blue colour) highlights the pandemic but does not reveal any emerging themes; hence this is not included in table(1) analysis. The two broad themes are identified as indicated in table (1) including economic impact contributing over 28% of articles to the area and demand analysis and tourism development with a contribution of 44%.

3.3.1.1. Theme: Economic impact

COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tourism economies of almost every country across the world, and this is highlighted in the studies of researchers who have focused on the economic impact of the first wave of the pandemic, in particular on employment ( Pharm et al., 2021 ) and lockdown strategy impact on the revival of the tourism economy ( McCarteny et al., 2021 ). While studies have found the individuals willingness to pay is high to maintain public health and reduce the risk of the tourism sector ( Qiu et al., 2021b , Qiu et al., 2021a ), others recommend government support for the recovery of tourism and hospitality sector ( Phan et al., 2021 ). The revival of tourism economies are also analysed using diverse economic frameworks ( Cave & Dredge, 2020 ; Ibin et al., 2021 ). Ibin-Mohammed et al. (2021) further point out using circular economic framework analysis that economies should leverage the chance that COVID-19 pandemic exit strategies like lockdown have given to build a more resilient, low-carbon economy. These studies indicate the short term impact of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the need to analyse these impacts more deeply in follow-up studies.

3.3.1.2. Theme: demand analysis and tourism development

This theme includes studies that have forecasted the post-COVID tourist arrivals ( Kourentzes et al., 2021 ; Liu et al., 2021 ; Qiu et al., 2021 ) and the economic impact of COVID-19 on hospitality firm performance ( Crespí-Claderaet al., 2021 ). While Kourentzes et al. (2021) , using the time series forecasting method, have estimated the international tourist arrivals for 20 destinations, Liu et al. (2021) , using scenario-based two-steps mixed method including time series analysis, Artificial intelligence and judgmental forecasting, estimate tourist arrivals across 20 countries to suggest that strong relationship between the speed and intensity of recovery and destinations dependency on long-haul markets. Qiu et al., 2021b , Qiu et al., 2021a , using statistical and judgemental forecasting methods, estimates tourist arrivals across 20 Asia Pacific countries. Wickramasinghe and Ratnasiri (2020) , using monthly data on tourist arrivals and google trends, estimate the foregone tourist expenditure for Srilanka. Gallego and Font (2020) , using big data analytics with Skyscanner data on air passenger searches and traffic light dashboard analysis, predict the willingness to travel by air passengers, thus indicating recovery strategies for tourist markets from the impact of the pandemic. Analysing the firm-level impact of the COVID pandemic on Spanish hospitality firms using the Logit model and solvency stress test, Crespí-Claderaet et al. (2021) find firms with low operating leverage to be in a better position to survive the crisis. While studies above estimate the loss to the tourism and hospitality sector due to falling demand for inbound tourists, they also forecast a reactivation of the tourist markets that would help these sectors bounce back. Studies confirming or refuting these forecasts would go a long way in better understanding the economic impact on this sector.

3.3.2. Research area 2: Hospitality and tourism workforce

There are 19 studies that are seen to focus on the issues faced by the workforce of the hospitality and tourism sector. With the keyword threshold of 2 Fig (4) indicates 4 clusters. The threshold is reduced due to the small number of studies included in this research area. Among the clusters identified by the network analysis, one cluster (yellow colour) includes only the hospitality keyword; hence this is excluded from further analysis. The 3 remaining clusters indicate the themes Organizational trust & resilience, which contributes over 28% to the research area, Job performance & life satisfaction with 28% contribution and Turnover intentions contributing 16%. The remaining studies (28%) could not be included specifically in any of the themes hence are listed under the others category in table (1).

3.3.2.1. Theme: Organizational trust & resilience

Studies under this theme highlight the impact of manager's communication on employee's organizational trust ( Guzzo, Wang, Madera, & Abbott, 2021 ), the importance of employees in building organizational resilience ( Ngoc et al., 2021 ) and the importance of CSR activities in augmenting the psychological capital of employees and increasing trust ( Mao et al., 2020 ). Further, Salazar(2020), focusing on tourism-related labour mobility, highlights the ‘nexus between migration and tourism’ and social sustainability that has thrown up new challenges following the pandemic. While Ngoc et al. (2021) used in-depth interviews as means to collect their data, questionnaire-based survey was used by others( He, Mao, Morrison, & C.-S, 2020 ; Mao et al., 2020 ).

3.3.2.2. Theme: Job performance & life satisfaction

Studies under this theme highlight the stress and mental health of the workforce in the hospitality and tourism sector. Research indicates that unpredictable downsizing during the pandemic has increased the stress levels of surviving employees in the hospitality industry, impacting their performance ( Tu et al., 2021 ). The study further argues that social support (through family) can help to reduce the negative effect COVID-19 related layoff for the employees. Similar results were found by others ( Aguiar-Quintana, Nguyen, Araujo-Cabrera, & Sanabria-Díaz, 2021 ; Karatepe, 2021 ) for hotel employees where, the pandemic was seen to impact the mental health of hotel employees, further bringing down their performance. Further studies by Kim et al. (2021) show organizational safety climate to boost employee's safety motivation, while the reduction in perceived job insecurity is seen to improve the performance of employees ( Vo-Thanh et al., 2020 ).

3.3.2.3. Theme: Turnover intentions

Yu et al. (2021) using mixed methodology study employees' attitudes and behaviour towards the hospitality industry due to subjective stress and negative emotions due to negative work events such as COVID-19 the pandemic. The study finds that the industry level impact of the pandemic has made several employees uncertain about their future careers in the hospitality industry, and subjective stress is seen to increase their intentions to quit the industry and also result in negative word of mouth. The authors further point out that while the unprecedented layoff in the hospitality industry cannot be avoided during the COVID pandemic, the negative emotions felt by the employees maybe reduced through rebuilding trust and proper communication. These areas of future research are much needed for the industry to understand fully the impact of the pandemic on the employees and help find ways to motivate them to continue to work in this sector, thus reducing turnover ratios. Bajrami et al. (2021) further, in understanding the impact of COVID-19 on work related attitudes and turnover intentions of the employees in the hospitality industry focuses on job insecurity, employees’ health complaints during isolation, risk-taking behavior at workplace and changes in the organization. Using the data collected from hospitality workers from Serbia, the study finds that job insecurity and changes in the organization have a negative impact on both work-related attitudes and turnover intentions of the employees.

Studies under the Other category are seen to focus on the managers use of digital technologies to perform their job during COVID-19 ( Chadee, Ren, & Tang, 2021 ), the impact of hotel safety leadership on employee safety behaviour ( Zhang et al., 2020 ), the impact of COVID-19 on the life of hospitality employees ( Baum, Mooney, Robinson, & Solnet, 2020 ), and perceptions of tourism employees towards COVID-19 ( Park et al., 2020 ).

3.3.3. Research area 3: customer/tourist studies

The research area of customer studies (or tourist related studies) includes 35 articles. Fig (5) indicates three clusters based on the keywords from these articles. These are Consumer risk perception, Tourists changing behaviour and Travel behaviour, contributing 20%, 17% and 34% respectively to the research area as seen from the table(1). Studies that are not grouped under these themes are included as others in table (1).

3.3.3.1. Theme: consumer risk perception

Zahn et al., (2021) conducted a study on Chinese residents travelling to Wuhan after the pandemic and developed a risk perception scale that concluded that occupation and place of residence are the most important factors of risk. Studies have also highlighted the holiday risk and impact of COVID-19 ( Pappas, 2021 ), health and safety risks as a reason for travel demotivations ( Aebli et al., 2021 ). Further studies ( Bae & Chang, 2021 ) have found customer's attitude to be moderating their risk perception and behavioural intentions. Studies also suggest that post-pandemic visits of customers to restaurants would be influenced by their trust in the restaurants ( Foroudi, Tabaghdehi, S, & Marvi, 2021 ) and governments ( Dedeoğlu & Boğan, 2021 ).

3.3.3.2. Theme: tourist changing behaviour

Perceived health risk and avoidance behaviour of tourists have significantly affected the international tourists' air travel and tourism industry ( Chua et al., 2020(b) ). Sánchez-Pérez et al. (2021) examines the behaviour change among tourists during COVID-19 and highlight the importance of linking the health risk perception of tourists to their behavioural intention. Zhang et al. (2020) in their study of find tourists travelling during the COVID-19 are more risk-averse, and this magnifies their negative emotional reactions towards disadvantaged tourism-related prices. Chua et al. (2020(a)) find that destination attachment is critical in post-pandemic tourists’ travel choices, and this will be impacted by perceived response efforts and health preventive behaviour during COVID-19.

3.3.3.3. Theme: travel behaviour

Studies indicate that COVID-19 has resulted in a significant increase in travel risk perception among tourists ( Neuburger&Egger, 2021 ), resulting in increased psychological resilience among travellers who display cautious travel behaviours ( Zheng et al., 2021 ). The cautious behaviour has lent itself to a higher willingness to pay for additional safety measures ( Sánchez-Cañizares et al., 2021 ), like the preference of renting full flats rather than single hotel rooms to maintain physical distancing norms ( Bresciani et al., 2021 ), travelling in their own vehiclesto reduce the risk of pandemic ( Bresciani et al., 2021 ; Ribeiro et al., 2021 ). It is further suggested by studies (O' Connor &Assaker, 2021 ) that post-pandemic travel behaviour will be pro-environmental, and tourists would be looking beyond hygiene attributes to select hospitality services Hu et al. (2021) .

Other studies include articles that focus on the use of electronic media for information sharing during the pandemic ( Nilashi, 2021 ), the use of virtual reality ( Schiopu et al., 2021 ), low consumption due to safety concerns ( Li et al., 2021 ), use of robot-staffs in room service ( Kim et al., 2021 ), post-COVID increase in local tourism ( Jeon & Yang, 2021 ) and quarantine lodging experience ( Wong & Yang, 2020 ). All the studies are related to understanding the consumer perspective of the hospitality and tourism sector.

3.3.4. Research area 4: Crisis management, Resilience and Transformations in touristic industry

For the research category of the Crisis management, Resilience and Transformations in touristic industry, 71 studies were included. The clustering network analysis from Fig (4) indicates 3 clusters with studies relating to Crisis management and sector resilience contributing 35% as indicated in table (1), studies focusing on Industry transformation and tourism development contributing 16% and Sustainable development contributing over 11%. Studies that could not be specifically grouped under these clusters are highlighted in the others category in table (1). These include studies that focus on the impact of COVID-19 on customer experience ( Bonfanti, Vigolo, & Yfantidou, 2021 ), cleanliness ( Magnini&Zehrer, 2021 ), destinations ( Foo, Chin, Tan, & Phuah, 2020 ; Isaac, 2021 ) and destination residents’ attitude ( Kamata, 2021 ). Studies have looked at new developments like robotics adoption in the hospitality and tourism industry ( Seyitoğlu & Ivanov, 2021 ; Zeng et al., 2020 ).

3.3.4.1. Theme: Crisis management and sector resilience

With the global lockdown during the COVID-19, the hospitality and tourism industry is seen to undergo unprecedented crisis like situation globally ( António& Rita, 2020 ). Studies analyse the crisis faced by managers of hospitality business ( Japutra & Situmorang, 2021 ) and highlight the importance of the resilience of managers of these businesses to overcome it ( Giousmpasoglou et al., 2021 ). Few others have also focused on the impact of the public health crisis in the hospitality industry ( Shapoval et al., 2021 ), suggesting innovative business models to create new revenue streams to better manage future crisis situations ( Breier et al., 2021 ) and improve resilience in the sector ( Duarte Alonso, 2020 ). Varied methodologies have been used to understand the crisis faced by the hospitality and tourism industry, including the case-study approach ( Hu et al., 2021 ; Smart et al., 2021 ), questionnaire survey ( Sobaih et al., 2021 ) and forecasting methods ( Zhang et al., 2021a , Zhang et al., 2021b ).

3.3.4.2. Theme: Industry transformation

Hospitality and tourism industry transformation need studies to focus on new ways of developing this sector. Tourism managers have to understand the impact of pandemics like COVID-19 and should build capabilities to forecast recovery path ( Škare, 2021 ), focusing more on local travellers more than the global networks ( Tomassini &Cavagnaro, 2020 ). It is further suggested by Carr, 2020 that such sectoral plans should have an inclusive approach. The managers should not look at returning to the pre-COVID demand, instead, look at the emerging economic transformation and plan for recovery ( Prideaux et al., 2020 ) with a focus on overall societal wellbeing and sustainability ( Everingham & Chassagne, 2020 ).

3.3.4.3. Theme: Sustainable development

Being an enabler for economic development, sustainable tourism has been the context of research for many years. Researchers underthe Sustainable development theme have focused on various aspects of sustainability, including sports tourism (Cooper & Alderman, 2021), tourism infrastructure ( Sheller, 2020 ) and tourists’ awareness ( Galvani, Lew, & Perez, 2020 ; Stankov et al., 2020 ) during the pandemic period. While Filimonau (2021) looks at alternative uses of food and plastic waste from the tourism industry, Niewiadomski (2020) looks at COVID-19 as an opportunity to re-boot the tourism industry with the tenets of sustainability. Other researchers like Cheer (2020) focus on the concept of human flourishing to understand the post-COVID tourism landscape. Studies under this theme suggest a faster recovery of the hospitality and tourism sector, also suggesting ways to reduce the severity of any future COVID like pandemics in this sector. Tsai (2021) predicts medical tourism and leisure to be the areas of importance post-COVID-19, indicating that future researchers must focus on these areas of tourism.

3.3.5. Research area 5: Hospitality and tourism education

Academic research has a prominent role in tourism education, as research-based learning adds more value to tourism and hospitality education by supporting sustainable development ( Espinoza-Figueroa, Vanneste, Alvarado-Vanegas, Farfán-Pacheco, & Rodriguez-Giron, 2021 ). Though touristic education began in vocational secondary schools, due to the prominence this sector gained in the economy and employment, it has increased its prominence in schools and universities. Tourism education helps to increase touristic competitiveness and plays a key role in the growth of tourism sector in any country ( Renfors et al., 2020 ). Tourism education research has been a well-researched area in the past. 1 The changing focus on emerging areas of tourism developmet will open new areas for education research in tourism also.

The criteria of the top 10 percentile cut off for inclusion of journal articles under a theme was relaxed for this theme due to very small number of articles falling in this criteria (5 articles). The inclusion percentile was increased to include journals up to top 20 percentile in Scopus list. This resulted in 8 articles being selected under this theme. While the network diagram indicates 3 clusters, one of the clusters was related to thematic analysis and systematic review. Dropping this cluster results in 2 clusters, namely Transformational education and Hybrid education & blended learning .

3.3.5.1. Theme: Transformational education

Edelheim (2020) highlights the need for the value-based education system and points out that COVID-19 pandemic may be the much needed impetus to revisit the travel, tourism, hospitality and event higher education sector. While the pandemic has brought to the forefront the idea that the past and present cannot help us plan for the future, Edelheim points out that with transformation in the higher education sector towards value-based education, students would be more equipped towards transformative practices in the industry.

Experiential learning through internships have become the norm of hospitality education and COVID-19 has brought a new dimension to it. The industry is preparing to provide a new customer experience and the tourism academics also should quickly adapt so that the students become competent to handle any such future eventualities. Empirical research during COVID-19 should be able to provide a new approach to tourism internships so as to provide better insights to students compared to pre-COVID period ( Zopiatis et al., 2021 ).

Hayes (2020) analysed the tourism taught master's programs and found that these programs are offered as more of vocational content and less of liberal arts. He argues that such programs are intended to produce leaders in tourism industry and there should be a balance of vocational and liberal arts content as the industry needs philosophic practitioners to bring disruptive changes to create a better resilient tourism and hospitality industry.

3.3.5.2. Theme: Hybrid education & blended learning

Griffin (2021) in discussing the future of hospitality education points towards practices that could become necessary for educators to adapt to the changes forced upon us by COVID pandemic. He also points out that educators in this ever challenging industry should help future leaders (current students) to with the required tools to help them adapt to any change. The article also discussed the importance of creative use of online media like interactive course content with a hybrid approach to education, integrated industry forums and mentorship for creating entrepreneurial skills, project-based learning across the curriculum, real-world industry exposure for students through industry partnership in problem-solving, and accelerated short courses instead of traditional semester-based courses. The paper reflects on “creating a radically new hospitality program that benefits student learning and industry-academia collaboration”. Smith (2021) also highlights the creative utilization of technological tools, software, and platforms to facilitate online learning in hospitality education.

Though YouTube is being used for blended learning, research and online classes widely, the use of this channel is limited in tourism academia ( Tolkach & Pratt, 2021 ). They suggest that use of YouTube channels like ‘Travel Professors’ can be used for blended learning in Tourism education during COVID-19 and beyond. Qiu et al., 2020b , Qiu et al., 2020a suggested that the effectiveness of tourism education during the COVID-19 period can be increased by including MOOCs and SPOCs in the pedagogy.

While many studies talk about the need for blended learning and research in tourism education and advocate for improving online teaching effectiveness, Tavitiyaman et al. (2021) studied the impact of online classes on personality of hospitality students. They suggest that the instructors should increase their support to students in online classes and this will enhance motivation levels of the students and helps in a higher level of perceived learning and reduced learning anxieties and eventually, increase student satisfaction levels.

4. Future research directions

It is well-acknowledged fact that PhD students need to have a publication record in high-ranking journals to get an academic job ( Carr and Hayes, 2017 ). Staying relevant and publishing on topics that are current and have future potential can help them get a good publication. The present bibliometric study is aimed at providing an overview of the current literature relating to COVID-19 and the hospitality and tourism industry, one of the most relevant topics for future research. While studies in each area identified have highlighted the current crisis, its impact and crisis management, several studies have given directions to help future researchers choose their area of research with relevance.

Tourism has evolved as a major economic activity across regions employing both skilled and unskilled labour. Prior to COVID-19, travel and tourism industry accounted for 25% if the new jobs created globally (WTCC). Its importance and share in any country's economic activity chart have increased over the decades. A similar expression of increased interest is seen in academic research ( Wilson, 1998 ) with improved methodology in estimating the tourism demand across tourist destinations ( Song et al., 2012 ). Being an important industry in several countries, continuous economic assessment of tourism industry and its contribution to economic development and progress is essential ( Comerio & Strozzi, 2019 ). The pandemic and following lockdown and travel restrictions have economic impacts across all countries in the world particularly related to employment ( Phan et al., 2021 ), on hospitality firm performance ( Crespí-Claderaet al., 2021 ), on tourist arrivals and hence demand impacts ( Kourentzes et al., 2021 ; Liu et al., 2021 ; Qiu et al., 2021 ). While all these studies have indicated the impact and effect of the crisis, what needs to be further studied is the sector wise impact of tourism demand and employment on the short term, medium term and long-term economic growth and development of economies. Such studies must focus on strategies specific to reviving of the tourist markets and helping the sector recover from the pandemic in terms of tourism demand recovery leading to increasing employment, better firm performance in this sector and promotion of sustainable practices for future crisis handling. These areas of research would benefit from academic debates and have direct implications on the industry recovery. Hence hospitality scholars must focus in these areas of future research.

Being a labour-intensive industry, tourism and hospitality sector like other similar sectors have faced employee-employer related issues like job performance and job satisfaction, work-life balance and life satisfaction, labour turnover, building organization trust and such others. The Unpredictable closure of many tourist destinations and all related businesses has resulted in increased stress levels in employees ( Aguiar-Quintana et al., 2021 ; Karatepe, 2021 ; Tu et al., 2021 ) impact their mental health and performance ( Vo-Thanh et al., 2020 ). While some of the countries have opened its tourist destinations, several countries are still in favour of partial or full travel restrictions with new strands of corona virus emerging across the world. While currently, the sector is more in damage control mode, it is the post-pandemic years when the real impact of mental health on hotel employees would be seen. It is imperative that these areas be researched from several different angles of causes, impact, effect, recovery and sustainability to help the sector employees stay healthy and perform better in the coming decades. Health of the employees is most important to increase productivity and efficiency of any organization and tourism being an experiential service sector has a high interaction level between employees and customers. Thus, future research scholars of this area must focus on understanding the pandemic impact on employee's mental health and performance, find ways to support them to recovery and formulate strategies to help build organization trust and resilience. These are some important areas of research related to tourism-hospitality sector employees that would have long-term implications for the industry as well.

Customer satisfaction is the most important driving force for service sector profitability. Motivation to travel to a particular destination and the experiences that the consumers experience at the destination results in revisit, recommendation and customer loyalty ( Huang & Hsu, 2009 ). These factors impact firm profitability ( Petrick, 2004 ). COVID-19 has impacted tourists’ travel preferences, destination choice ( Li et al., 2021 ) and their risk perception ( Pappas, 2021 ; Zhan et al., 2020 ), with health and safety risk impacting their travel motivation ( Aebli et al., 2021 ; Bae & Chang, 2021 ; Chua et al., 2020(b) ). The changing behaviour of tourists post pandemic highlight some interesting areas of research like changing travel motivation, destination choice, expectations from the hospitality and tourist service providers, demand for better health and safety norms among consumers. These changes also lead to new ways of customer assessment of service providers and hence academic research in these areas can lead to high-quality publications for research scholars. These potential research areas are also of high implications to practitioners, including hotel, restaurant, travel agency managers and governments across the world that are interested in fast recovery of this sector.

Though the cash-driven resilient nature and employee resilience of the tourism industry is well studied in the past ( Wieczorek-Kosmala, 2021 ), COVID-19 has opened up a new stream of resilience studies in the tourism and hospitality industry, like resilience of business owners ( Pathak & Joshi, 2021 ), managers ( Japutra & Situmorang, 2021 ) etc. Public health crisis during COVID-19 ( Shapoval et al., 2021 ) have necessitated the creation of new and innovative business models in tourism that can better address any future crisis ( Breier et al., 2021 ) and improve resilience in the sector ( Duarte Alonso, 2020 ). Future research in tourism, hospitality and leisure should suggest innovative business models that are more resilient and sustainable so that the sector is equipped to face challenges raised by any crisis. Medical tourism and leisure are expected to be the focus of tourism industry in future ( Tsai, 2021 ).

Academic research has a prominent role in tourism education, as research-based learning adds more value to tourism and hospitality education by supporting sustainable development ( Espinoza-Figueroa et al., 2021 ). Though touristic education began in vocational secondary schools, due to the prominence this sector gained in the economy and employment, it has increased its presence in schools and universities. Tourism education helps to increase touristic competitiveness and plays a key role in growth of the tourism sector in any country ( Renfors et al., 2020 ). Many of the education related studies during the COVID-19 is of qualitative nature with views from one set of stakeholders like either teachers or students etc and the future studies including multiple stakeholders as respondents using quantitative or mix method will give more insight into the effectiveness of the use of technology in touristic education ( Qiu et al., 2020 ). The use of technology would increase the possibilities of blended learning in touristic education, including the increased use of social media like YouTube etc ( Tolkach & Pratt, 2021 ) and would bring in a new dimension to experiential learning by including real life challenges in tourism internships ( Zopiatis et al., 2021 ).

5. Implications and limitations

Considering how the tourism and hospitality sector has suffered in an unpreceded manner due to COVID-19, it is vital for tourism academics to envision the future for their field and to identify potential related issues and opportunities ( Wassler & Fan, 2021 ). These areas are full of potential for future PhD students to publish their work. It is a well-acknowledged fact that PhD students need to have a publication record in high-ranking journals to get an academic job ( Carr and Hayes, 2017 ). Staying relevant and publishing in topics that are current and have future potential can help them get a good publication. The present bibliometric study is aimed at providing an overview of the current literature relating to COVID-19 and the hospitality and tourism industry, one of the most relevant topics for future research. While studies in each area identified have highlighted the current crisis, its impact and crisis management, several studies have given directions to help future researchers to choose their area of research with relevance.

Additionally, the study results also help practitioners develop curricula both for academe and for training programs to help the current and future industry workforce stay relevant. The study has practical implications. In that, it is imperative for managers to be well informed of an issue and understand all aspects of it before taking an informed decision. The present review highlights the emerging issues related to COVID-19 and the hospitality and tourism industry, highlighting some of the bigger issues and providing a future outlook on several others.

The study has several limitations. First, the data was collected only over a short period of duration and from one source Scopus database. Future studies can collect data from other well-known databases as well. Future studies can also include more detailed keywords like hotel, restaurant, sports and other tourism-related words to search for the relevant literature. Also, the source of studies only included journal articles while excluding conference papers and other book chapters. These could be included in future studies to better understand the field of research. More advanced bibliometric analysis tools can be used by future studies to draw deeper insights into the literature.

1 for details of all applications see www.vosviewer.com/publications .

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research topics for tourism and hospitality management

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

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Tourism and Hospitality Management Research topics, hospitality and tourism management degree

Top Tourism and Hospitality Management Research topics(2023)

This blog article you are about to read will provide you with Tourism and Hospitality Management Research topics.

Do you intend to write a research paper about hospitality? Are you looking for the top research topics in hospitality? Not to worry! You should read this blog article.

The topics can be used by any student in spite of their country.

We also provide thesis writing support, assignment help and essay writing for international students.

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Further Readings:

Tourism and Hospitality Management Project Topics with materials

The role of tourism in economic growth and poverty reduction

  • The impact of Covid 19 on world Tourism
  • The effects of quality services on customer satisfaction
  • The role of limbe festac in cultural tourism development
  • The role of Campo Ma’an National Park in the Development of Tourism in Kribi
  • Assessment of tourist activities at debarcadere beach in kribi ocean division
  • Role of Recreational sites in The Promotion of Tourism Development in Limbe, Fako Division, South west Region of Cameroon
  • Assessing the Factors that Account for the Touristic Attractiveness of Kribi
  • Factors affecting civil servants participation in domestic tourism. A case study of the civil servants living in Yaoundé V subdivision of Cameroon
  • Examining the potentials of hospitality industry as an agent of tourist attractions in Kumba
  • Food as a determinant of domestic tourist behavior in Kumba I Municipality
  • Tourism as an Agent of Cultural Change in Bangem, Kupemuanenguba Division
  • Potentials of Barombi Mbo Lake for the Development of Tourism in Kumba I
  • Examining cultural potentials of the Bafaw people for the promotion of sustainable tourism development in Meme Division

Tourism and Hospitality Management Research topics

  • The importance of product distribution policies to tourism enterprises and to tourists
  • Westernization as a Threat to the Bali Nyonga Cultural Heritage
  • The Assessment of Buffet Services of Hotels in the Limbe Resort Town
  • Organizational Control and Customer Service Delivery at Mountain Hotel in Buea
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Sustainable Tourism development in Cameroon; case study the Bakossi National Park in the South West Region
  • Recreational Tourism Development in Limbe: Challenges and Prospects
  • Perception and attitudes toward sustainable tourism in Cameroon amongst Cameroon tourists. case of Korup national park
  • The role of royal marriages in the promotion of tourist destinations in tombel
  • Design and implementation of a hotel management system
  • The Impact Of Destination Image On Tourist Satisfaction, And Destination Loyalty: A Case Of Buea Municipality
  • Problems Of Hotel Business In Fako Division A Case Study Of some selected five stars Hotels in Buea
  • Impact Of Foreign Direct Investment On The Hospitality Sector in Cameroon.
  • Assessing The Challenges Facing Small Scale Hotels In Cameroon (A case Study Of some selected hotels in Mamfe Town)
  • Packaging And Service Delivery In The Hospitality Industry (A Case Study Of some selected hotels in Limbe Municipality)
  • Prospects And Problems Of E-Marketing In Hospitality Industry in Cameroon
  • Service Management In Hospitality Industry (A Case Study Of some selected hotels in Bamenda II municipality)
  • Customer Perceived Value And Customers Satisfaction In Travel Agency In Cameroon (A Study Of hotels in Kumba II Municipality).
  • The Impact Of Inadequate Food Supply On The Tourism And Hospitality Industry: The case study of hotels in Bafoussam, Cameroon
  • An Assessment Of Tourist Attraction Development And Consumer Behaviour In Limbe Municipality
  • Assessing Hotels Social Responsibilities To Its Host Communities, the case study of hotels in Limbe Municipality
  • The Impact Of Quality Control Methods On Employee Performance Within The Hospitality Industry
  • Consumer Experience And Destination Loyalty In Tourist Site in Cameroon: Case study Kribi
  • Customer Perceived Value And Customers Satisfaction In Travel Agency In Cameroon (A Study Of Camiar-co)
  • Human Resource Management In The Hotel And Catering Industry case study of Mountain Hotel Buea
  • Impact Of Marketing Communication In Tourist Destination A Case Study Of Fako Division
  • The Effect Of Government Policies On The Development Of Tourism In Cameroon
  • The Impact Of Religion On The Development Of The Tourism And Hospitality Industry Of Cameroon
  • Problems Encountered By Managers In Setting Up A Small Scale Hospitality Business in Mamfe Central
  • An Assessment Of The Impact Of Motivation On Employee’s Productivity In Hospitality Industry Case study of Chariot Hotel Buea
  • A Critical Examination Of Safety And Security Concerns In Hospitality Industry Case study Eta Palace Hotel Buea
  • Prospects And Problems Of E-Marketing In The Hospitality Industry in Limbe Municipality
  • The Relevance Of Human Capital Management To Profit Maximization In The Hospitality Industry (A Case Study Of Hotel Saint Claire).

Students also read:

Tourism and Hospitality Management Project Topics,

  • Summary of Contents
  • Describe hospitality.

Writing Hospitality Research Papers

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Subjects for Hospitality Management Research Papers

Advanced Hospitality Management Research Topics

Topics for Hospitality and Tourism Research Papers

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  • Excellent topics for hospitality research

Final Analysis of the Hospitality Research Topic

If you’re a student pursuing a degree in hospitality courses, you’ll be required to accomplish a thesis on a hospitality-related subject in order to earn your degree. Finding a study topic might be challenging in general. Finding suitable subjects for a research paper will require a significant time and effort investment. Here, we have compiled a list of the finest hospitality research topics to aid you.

Find out more about a variety of research topics in hospitality by reading this blog post. Learn how to prepare hospitality research papers as well.

Describing hospitality.

Giving guests and visitors a kind or warm reception is the definition of hospitality. On this planet, one of the dynamic industries where technology and innovation are applied to enhance the guest experience is hospitality. The majority of the activities connected to travel and tourism are included in the hospitality and tourist sector. The hotel industry encompasses primarily

Lodges & Hotels

Clubs & Bars at Night

Food Services & Restaurants

Transportation & Travel

Bus trips and cruise liners

Events (Private, Business, Cultural & Sports)

Wellness & Spas

The management functions in the hospitality business are the subject of the broad topic of hospitality management, sometimes known as hotel management.

The greatest services are provided with the ultimate goal of ensuring client satisfaction in the hotel sector.

Therefore, the sector needs a lot of talents, creativity, and technological assistance to increase client pleasure.

The hospitality business also engages in a variety of research and analysis initiatives to develop distinctive customer-attraction strategies.

A research paper on hospitality focuses on any subjects that have to do with the industry. Finding a decent topic is the first step in creating a research paper.

Make careful to choose a topic that interests you when choosing one. The subject of the study shouldn’t be very broad or specific.

If the subject is too vast, concentrate just on one particular theme.

The topic or subtopic you choose for discussion should have a compelling thesis statement.

Keep in mind that each major point related to the research statement needs to be supported by relevant data.

Your research paper about hospitality should be informative and well-structured, just like other academic papers.

Include the following components in your research paper on hospitality.

It serves as the essay’s introductory passage. You should include some background information on the subject and your thesis statement in the first paragraph.

Review of the literature : In this area, you should go through the theoretical framework and the sources you consulted when conducting research for the article.

Research Methodology : In this section, you should list and describe every technique you utilised to gather and examine the data.

Data Analysis : You must analyse all of the research data you have obtained in this step.

Results : Here, you should concentrate on the significance and ramifications of the information you gathered.

Summary : In this area, you should enumerate all the key ideas. You should also explain how your analysis led to the solutions to your research topic.

References page: This is where you should list all of the references you utilised in your research paper.

There are several potential study subjects in the broad realm of hospitality.

You can choose any hospitality topic based on the history, culture, management, and current industry developments when writing a research paper on the subject.

Do you need to choose the greatest subjects for your hospitality research paper? Cool! The best hospitality research ideas and topics are presented below for your consideration.

Choose a topic from the list below, and then refer to it.

Discuss the meaning of the word “hospitality.”

Islamic hospitality is valued.

Greek hospitality in antiquity.

The best methods to welcome visitors to Rome.

Christianity’s tradition of hospitality.

worldwide trends’ impact on the hospitality sector.

Describe the interaction between the host and the visitor.

a thorough examination of ethics in hospitality.

The best methods to welcome visitors in Prague.

Examine the adverse effects of travel restrictions.

Contribution of tourism to the expansion of the world economy

Creating sustainable tourism

Describe the tourist hotspots in Europe.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on world tourism

Discuss proper behaviour in the hospitality sector.

casino smoking regulations’ impact.

Describe the idea of honoured guests in Christian doctrine.

freedom of movement in transportation.

Consider the idea of twisted hospitality in depth.

a thorough examination of equitable pay in the hospitality sector. Case Study: The Hotel Izmailovo.

The Abraj Al-Bait is a case study.

Analyze the Circus Circus in Las Vegas from a strategic standpoint.

Analyze the Hilton Hawaiian Village from a strategic standpoint.

Talk about the slogan “Atithi Devo Bhava”

The education of flight attendants in hospitality

The value of the hospitality sector to France’s economy

A comparison between Middle Eastern and European countries’ hospitality regulations

Current hospitality regulations in China and Japan

Discuss a hotel’s accounting and financial management.

administration of a sizable hotel’s revenue.

a review of French hotel administration.

Good hotel manager qualities.

The Ambassador City Jomtien is a case in point.

The Wynn Las Vegas is a case in point.

Pakistani hotel management.

The First World Hotel & Plaza is a case study.

Describe the 5-star hotel’s customer service.

Examine the distinctions between a limited-service hotel and a full-service hotel.

Hospitality, Society, and Space

Application of technology to hotel management procedures

current hotel management fad

Management of hotels is important.

Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is a case study on employee performance in the hotel setting.

Best hotel management techniques

An examination of the Innkeepers’ Laws.

Talk about insurance exclusions.

Describe bailments with relation to the hospitality sector.

Look into the UK hotel industry’s theft risk.

South African laws on hospitality.

Indian laws on hospitality.

Look into Russian hospitality law.

South Korean laws on hospitality.

North Korean laws on hospitality.

Talk about hotel owners’ legal obligations in the US.

The role of hospitality law in promoting tourism

Critical evaluation of American hospitality legislation

European Union guest property losses

Talk about the virtue of hospitality.

working circumstances in a big hotel.

significant problems in the hospitality sector.

the numerous kinds of lodging used in hospitality.

Discuss the salaries that hotel managers should anticipate.

provide Nepal with food, shelter, and security.

the management of hotels during the COVID pandemic

a thorough examination of hotel marketing administration.

the function of a hotel’s general manager.

Put together a strategic analysis of the hotel of your choice.

the function of a director of events and groups.

food and drink in the tourism sector.

Giving protection in Judaism.

What facilities managers do.

Do some research on how the hotel sector will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Discuss restaurant staff training in hospitality.

the hospitality sector’s significance to the US economy.

Discuss flight attendants’ hospitality training.

Analyze the Caesars Palace hotel from a strategic perspective.

Find out what a resort’s off-season entails.

Discuss the diversification of hospitality businesses.

Case Study: The Signature and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Analyze the Excalibur Hotel and Casino from a strategic standpoint.

An example is The Londoner Macao.

The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas is a case study.

Talk about hospitality personalisation.

Examine the seven elements of tourism.

Describe the three key ideas in tourism.

best US tourism destinations.

Making contactless payments in the hospitality sector.

America’s domestic travel industry.

Best UK tourism destinations.

the trends in international travel for 2022.

What impact did the COVID 19 pandemic have on travel?

What is meant by inbound tourism?

TQM (Total Quality Management) and Sig Sigma are used in the hotel and tourism industries.

Remote communication’s importance in the hospitality and tourist industries

Discuss promoting your destination.

Analyze the Shinagawa Prince Hotel from a strategic standpoint.

how technology has changed the hotel sector.

Bring up seamless technologies in the hotel industry.

Analyze Resorts World Las Vegas from a strategic standpoint.

Talk about the most effective techniques to appeal to millennials.

The hospitality sector and augmented reality.

Sustainability in the hotel and restaurant business.

The hospitality industry’s most crucial service.

Describe the rising importance placed on wellbeing.

utilising technology to satisfy hotel guests’ requirements.

Analyze the hotel Atlantis Paradise Island from a strategic standpoint.

destroying the opposition in the hotel industry.

The primary duty of hospitality in a deluxe hotel.

Find out the value of a qualified tour guide.

Why do clients choose leisure hotels while booking international vacations?

The benefits of the royal wedding for the hotel sector.

deciding factors while choosing a restaurant for a Friday night out.

How can bars and restaurants inspire their staff?

What has the hospitality sector done to accommodate and draw additional tourists now that more people are travelling alone?

How do consumer choices impact leisure travel for British consumers?

assessing consumer perceptions and attitudes regarding internet travel agencies.

What are some effective ways for small catering businesses to use integrated marketing communication to grow their brand and boost sales?

Does brand extension in hotel chains have an impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions?

customers’ opinions and attitudes toward Thai food in Britain.

excellent topics for hospitality research

Examine a certain bar’s operations.

Discuss the system of tips.

Laws in the hotel industry are evolving.

the significance of appropriate behaviour.

Do some research on local hotel employees’ salaries.

how hospitality affects both the direct and indirect economies.

Going green in the hotel industry in the next years.

Compare three of the country’s largest hotel chains.

The Maldives’ hospitality laws and regulations.

during the Olympic Games, hospitality.

the most effective techniques to draw visitors to your hotel.

Ancient Egyptian hospitality

Describe the Eastern European custom of eating bread and salt.

Talk about the hospital’s friendliness.

An examination of sports tourism.

newest fashions in the hospitality sector.

A hotel crisis management team is what?

What are vacationers for leisure?

How crucial are offices in hotels?

What in the hospitality industry is essentialism?

Can you discuss the unique characteristics of visitors who travel alone?

Wholistic hospitality is what?

Talk about the abilities of a seasoned restaurant management.

Investigate a fresh area of hospitality.

How significant is a review for hospitality businesses?

Distinct geographical regions have different approaches to providing hospitality services.

The function of the management team in hospitality.

What strategies hotels are using to stay afloat in the competitive world of hospitality.

types of in-demand hospitality services.

innovative methods for meeting hotel visitors’ demands.

You can create a top-notch research paper utilising any subject from the list of suggested hospitality study topics above. Call us for online assignment writing assistance if choosing a solid research topic for your assignment presents a challenge. Along with topic selection, we can help you with research paper writing or assignments related to hotel management.

We are renowned for providing dependable, superior assignment writing services. We specifically have a staff of qualified academic writers on a variety of areas available to help.

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research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Stakeholder collaboration in tourism governance in Ghana

  • Aseye Afi Atsakpo Ho technical University, ho, Ghana
  • Christopher Mensah Ho Technical University, Ho, Volta Region
  • Kwaku A. Boakye university of capecoast, capecoast, central region
  • Ewoenam Afenyo-Agbe university of capecoast, capecoast, central region
  • Bright Danquah Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Eastern Region

This paper analyses stakeholder collaboration in tourism governance in Ghana. It further examines the forms and rationale of stakeholder collaboration and the extent of stakeholder collaborations. The paper deployed the qualitative approach in research, descriptive research design and purposively selected 14 participants from public and private sector tourism organisations and local communities in Ghana’s tourism industry. These participants were selected based on their knowledge and experience in the tourism industry. The data was collected using in-depth interviews (IDI). The responses of participants were analysed inductively and deductively. Two key findings emerged from the study. First, it was found that there is a discernible line of authority where authority comes from the top management in the sector. Secondly, collaboration in the tourism sector is not well established.

Author Biographies

Christopher mensah, ho technical university, ho, volta region.

Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Professor

Kwaku A. Boakye, university of capecoast, capecoast, central region

Department of Hospitality and Tourism management, Professor

Ewoenam Afenyo-Agbe, university of capecoast, capecoast, central region

Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, senior lecturer

Bright Danquah, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Eastern Region

Department of Hospitality Management, Assistant Lecturer

How to Cite

  • Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS)

Most read articles by the same author(s)

  • Melody E. Appietu, Vincent K. Asimah, Christopher Mensah, Does perception of hospitality employment change post internship? , African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management: Vol. 1 No. 2 (2019): African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Lolonyo Letsa, Foster Frempong, Christopher Mensah, Perceived organisational justice and unethical work behaviour among hotel employees in Accra: the role of gender and marital status , African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management: Vol. 3 No. 1 (2021): African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • BRIGHT DANQUAH, SARAH BLANKSON-STYLES-OCRAN, GLADYS APREH SIAW, ASEYE AFI ATSAKPO, Emotional Reactions of Inbound Tourists Towards Souvenirs in Cape Coast, Ghana , African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management: Vol. 4 No. 1 (2024): African Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Press release

Following a record year, the stalled luxury goods market faces a dilemma between catering to top clientele and reaching new audiences amid ongoing complexities

  • June 18, 2024

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

  • A resurgence in tourism and appetite for luxury experiences has facilitated stable growth, but brands will need to rethink their value propositions to remain relevant despite growing competition
  • Personal luxury brands are finding themselves in a moment of crisis, driven by macroeconomic pressures, waning consumer demand, and dichotomous strategies
  • Increased polarization and dispersion of top and bottom-line performance should inspire a rethink of the industry’s creative and business models

MILAN—June 18, 2024— The global luxury market showcased remarkable stability in the face of geopolitical and economic turbulence in 2023, exceeding a record €1.5 trillion. Behind this growth was a resurgence of luxury travel and a robust US holiday season in the fourth quarter. While the first quarter of 2024 saw a slowdown across a majority of regions amid macroeconomic pressures, Japan has continued to flourish due to a tourism boom. These are among the findings in the latest Bain & Company Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, released today in collaboration with Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods manufacturers’ industry association.

Bain and Altagamma’s research highlights a continuing trend favouring experiential offerings over tangible goods. Particularly notable is the steady growth in hospitality as well as gourmet food and fine dining, fuelled by the recovering tourism industry and growing demand for immersive experiences. It also points to rising interest in smaller, intimate luxury cruises, which surpass traditional cruise concepts. Additionally, the market has seen consistent growth in private jets and yachts. This comes alongside a slowdown in the auction market for fine arts, due to artwork shortages and economic uncertainties.

The personal luxury goods market saw a slight decline in the first quarter of 2024. Key to maintaining stable growth across subsectors will be luxury brands’ ability to address rising prices while maintaining a robust price-value equation in the eyes of consumers.

“As a narrative of resurgence and resilience emerges, luxury brands must rethink the way they build their value proposition to prioritize trust and connection with consumers,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain & Company partner and leader of Bain’s global Luxury Goods and Fashion practice, the lead author of the study. “Many are navigating a momentary crisis, driven by macroeconomic pressures and a polarized customer base. This presents a unique moment to define a new way forward for their brands, fostering a more personal connection with their customers. Purpose and love will be the north star for brands that thrive in this increasingly competitive market landscape.”

Japan thrives while nuances arise across other regions

The first quarter of the year is estimated to decrease between one and three percent, at current exchange rates, with significant variability in brands’ performance across and within regions.

Buoyed by tourism inflows in the first quarter of 2024, Europe and Japan have demonstrated notable resilience, with Japan thriving as it attracts a growing number of nationalities beyond the historical predominance of nearby Chinese travellers. Bain’s research shows this resurgence can be largely attributed to the backlog of travel from the previous year, postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. In Japan, touristic inflows have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, bolstered by a favourable Yen arbitrage—reaching its lowest level against the US dollar in two decades. This has resulted in a surge of tourists from around the globe, flocking to both established destinations and emerging luxury locations across the nation.

China's market is under pressure due to two primary factors: the revival of outbound tourism and weakening local demand caused by rising economic uncertainties. The latter is undermining middle-class consumer confidence, leading to "luxury shame" behaviour similar to what occurred in the Americas during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Likewise, the US continues to face with macroeconomic pressures despite signs of gradual improvement in GDP and consumer confidence.

Generation Z grapples with rising pressures as brands play a dichotomous customer strategy

Facing rising unemployment levels and weakening future outlooks, younger generations are delaying spending in luxury goods. Meanwhile, Gen X and Baby Boomers continue to enjoy accrued wealth, growing their spend as they capture luxury brands’ attention. This complements an ongoing growth of the top consumer tier. Many brands are taking a dichotomous approach, focusing on top clients, with an emphasis on large-scale one-to-many events, while investing to expand their reach by engaging in conversations in new territories, including sport. While sport has long been seen as a branding opportunity for luxury goods, brands are widening their reach by focusing on newer sports, including padel, racing, and football. And of course, luxury brands will be featured prominently at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. These branding opportunities not only give brands a platform for reaching new audiences, but also to engage existing customers in new ways.

Jewellery and small luxuries leading the pack

Jewellery stands out as a top performer in the current landscape, with consumers making investment-led purchase decisions, surpassing watches in growth and showcasing strength in both uber- and entry-luxury segments. Meanwhile, aspirational consumers are also redirecting spending toward makeup, fragrances, and eyewear, viewed as small indulgences. Simultaneously, apparel has outgrown accessories on an elevation strategy aimed at capturing the attention of top-tier customers, with shoes suffering from a slowdown among aspirational shoppers.

“A dual strategy, framed around the allure of top-tier clientele and the appeal of smaller luxury indulgences, is driving growth at both ends of the price spectrum,” said Federica Levato , partner at Bain & Company and leader of the firm’s EMEA Luxury Goods and Fashion practice, co-author of today’s report. “But now is not the time to for brands to rest on their laurels. As brands continue to face turbulence in the market, the winners will be those that rethink the way they craft and deliver their value propositions across multiple price points and touchpoints, growing their reach while building advocacy and loyalty among their customers.”

As they continue to navigate uncertain times, brands will need to invest in growth enablers, defend core business elements, maintain agility in decision-making, and optimize stock management to ensure efficiency and responsiveness to market demand.

Editor’s note: For any questions or to arrange an interview, please contact Orsola Randi (Milan) at [email protected] or +39 339 327 3672, or Katie Ware (New York) at  [email protected] or +1 646 562 8107.

About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry. 

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Travel Venture Capital Hit a Decade Low in 2023: Where the Growth Is Now – Skift Research

Pranavi Agarwal , Skift

June 20th, 2024 at 2:35 PM EDT

Travel venture capital hit a decade low of $2.9 billion in 2023, but early 2024 signals a rebound with increased investments from Asia and the Middle East and a focus on experiences and AI.

Pranavi Agarwal

Skift Research’s latest report explores the state of venture capital investment in the travel industry. Below we present 5 key insights and takeaways.

Insight 1: Venture capital investment in the travel industry has dropped to its lowest level in a decade.

Travel had only $2.9 billion of venture capital (VC) investment in 2023, compared to $5 billion in 2022 and nearly $9 billion in 2019. It was the lowest level in 10 years. 

The number of deals has also dropped considerably, from 1,021 deals in 2019 to only 587 in 2023. The number of deals in 2023 dropped more than 20% vs 2022 – the second steepest decline since the 2020 lockdowns. 

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

The declines in travel investment track the overall declines in VC, which continues to struggle in a tough macroeconomic environment marked by higher rates and declining valuations. 

In 2020 and 2021, travel VC underperformed the total VC market. However, in 2022 and 2023, both saw similar declines, with each down about 40%.

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Insight 2. There is an on-going shift towards investment into later-stage, mature companies . 

Though 2020 and 2021 saw a surge in early stage (pre-seed or seed capital) VC raised by start-ups, there was a move toward late-stage funding in 2023. 

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

For example, there was a drop last year in VC funding across every deal stage – except late-stage Series F. That shows that when investors did invest, it was in safe, mature companies.

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Insight 3. Where the growth is: Tours & experiences, AI & automation and hospitality employment.

There has been significant investment into the tours and experiences sector. This has been led by large funding rounds in OTAs Klook and GetYourGuide. Investors see opportunity and untapped prospects for the tours and experiences sector: It is highly fragmented with a long tail of small suppliers and is rapidly shifting online. Read our deep dive on the Experiences sector here: The Last Outpost of Travel: A Deep Dive into Tours, Activities and Experiences 2023 . 

Hospitality employment has also seen significant growth in VC investment, predominantly led by funding rounds in Instawork, which offers on-demand staffing apps and recruitment services. Funding into Instawork grew from $8 million in 2022 to $60 million in 2023 with its latest series-D round focussed specifically on implementing AI and machine learning into its operations. 

AI, automation & predictive analytics in 2023 is another key area of investor interest. At Skift’s 2024 Data & AI Summit, Chris Hemmeter, Managing Director of Thayer Ventures, said there remains a large opportunity for technological advancement in the travel industry – a gap which could be potentially filled by AI. “We find ourselves now with this incredible technical debt and in a real problem, because at the same time that our [hospitality] industry has been playing catch up and just layering technology on top of itself, the traveler has changed,” Hemmeter said.

However, investors aren’t just investing “for the sake of AI,” said Kurien Jacob of Highgate Technology Ventures:

“We don’t look for an AI company in travel, you don’t have that approach”, but rather “you look for companies that can use the best of AI”.

According to Hemmeter of Thayer Ventures, “Every quality company is going to have some sort of AI tool integrated into their value proposition”.

Investors are increasingly seeking companies that can efficiently implement AI into their tech stacks and strategies rather than investing in AI companies on their own. Read our deep dive into AI in travel: Generative AI’s Impact on Travel for further reading.

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Insight 4. There is an increased fragmentation and shift eastward in the list of top-10 countries investing in travel venture capital .

In 2021, the top 10 countries held a 91% share of the travel venture capital market; in 2023 they held 85%.

The U.S. continues to be the single largest country for travel VC investment, accounting for $722 million in 2023 – 25% of the global total. But we are increasingly seeing a shift east, with Singapore and India taking the number 3 and number 5 spots, respectively. India has moved up from 7th place in 2021. 

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Insight 5. We expect that 2024 will see an increase in VC funding in travel. 

Based on preliminary data from the first quarter of 2024 and in line with the on-going shift towards investment into larger, late-stage mature companies, we expect that investors will continue being highly selective.

We think the trend is for fewer deals, but for them to be of a larger average size versus 2023.

This should culminate into an overall increase in travel VC funding in 2024. For example, year-to-date there have already been at least 10 companies (such as Travelperk, Mews and Guesty) that have raised more than $100 million of venture capital funding.

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Additionally, as the interest rate environment improves into 2025 and 2026, we should expect VC deal flow to further improve. We have found a strong inverse correlation between U.S. interest rates and the amount of VC funding in the U.S. travel industry. Our analysis shows that every 0.1% decrease in the U.S. interest rate could mean an increase of around $50 million in VC investment in U.S. travel companies. 

research topics for tourism and hospitality management

Read the full report for methodology and further analysis of the travel venture capital market by region, company and sector. 

Venture Investment Trends in Travel 2024

Venture Investment Trends in Travel 2024

Venture Capital investment in travel hit a decade low of $2.9B in 2023, but early 2024 suggests a rebound, with larger deals, growing Asian and Middle Eastern investments, and a focus on tours & experiences, AI and hospitality employment.

What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • The size of the travel startup financing market from 2009 – 2023, with projections for 2024
  • 2023 funding by deal stage, region, company and sector
  • Key 2023 funding trends in travel startups: tours & experiences, corporate travel and expense management, property management technology, short-term rentals, OTAs and AI automation & predictive analytics, amongst other thematic buckets

This is the latest in a series of research reports, analyst sessions, and data sheets aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

Subscribe now to Skift Research Reports

After you subscribe, you will gain access to our entire vault of reports, analyst sessions, and data sheets conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep dives on key travel brands. Reports are available online in a responsive design format, or you can also buy each report à la carte at a higher price.

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Tags: AI in travel , deals , employment , funding , investment , skift research , thayer ventures , tours and activities , travel venture capital

Photo credit: Unsplash/ Image is of a unicorn money box and it represents the tours & experiences operators Klook and GetYourGuide which are each private companies with valuations above $1 Billion, thus granting them unicorn status. Klook and GetYourGuide were the top two most funded travel companies in 2023.

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Press Release Details

College instructors feeling the strain of mental health crisis.

Majority of college instructors say they are struggling with mental health issues, which may be impacting their ability to teach effectively

HOBOKEN, NJ— College instructors are feeling the strain of mental health issues and experiencing increasing levels of burnout and stress from the demands of their jobs, according to a new survey by Wiley (NYSE: WLY), one of the world’s largest publishers and a global leader in research and learning .

The Instructor Mental Health Landscape —the last in a series of three Wiley studies exploring mental health issues across the practitioner and higher education landscape—reports six out of ten college instructors (61%) say they are struggling with their mental health to some degree. And more than a third said teaching was more stressful than during the previous academic year.

Instructors cite a number of factors that are contributing to mental health issues they are experiencing, including:

  • ongoing pressure to meet the increasing demands and needs of students (51%),
  • being asked to do more with less time and resources (49%),
  • spending too much time on non-teaching related tasks (48%), and
  • feeling underpaid for the work they do (43%).

The increase in mental health struggles may well be having a negative impact on instructors’ ability to teach effectively. Fifteen percent say they feel burned out or exhausted, while another 15% report having less energy and patience.

Among various challenges instructors face, keeping students engaged and helping them retain class material are high on the list. Sixty-five percent say it’s a challenge to keep students engaged, while 53% say that they struggle with teaching students who start courses with different knowledge levels. These findings are aligned with those of Wiley’s March 2024 student mental health survey , where 61% of students said staying engaged and remaining interested in classes was a challenge.

“The mental health crisis is pervasive, impacting college instructors just as we saw it hurting students and practitioners in our previous surveys,” said Amanda Miller, Wiley group vice president, Academic Publishing Group. “It’s important for college officials to understand and acknowledge the strain felt by students and instructors as a result of these issues and continue to take whatever steps they can to help ease the impact on their education and their lives.”

The findings suggest many instructors believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to their mental health issues. Fifty-seven percent said the pandemic had a negative impact on them, and 83% feel it had a negative impact on students.

College instructors are well aware that students are also experiencing mental health issues. Nearly all respondents (93%) say they believe students are struggling emotionally either a little or significantly. That aligns with the findings of Wiley’s recent report on students which showed more than 80% of college students saying they are struggling emotionally at least somewhat.

Recommendations

Wiley’s report recommends steps colleges and universities can take to support both instructors and students as they navigate the mental health crisis.

  • Increasing support —As instructors feel increasingly exhausted and experience more burnout, they’ll need more support. Support networks for instructors can go a long way in improving mental health for both instructors and students.
  • Recognizing burnout —Burnout is an issue that can be addressed through various means, including peer support networks, time-saving resources, and strategies for self-care.
  • Providing resources —Instructors need materials that are easy to implement, and which save them time and effort. With student engagement a big challenge for many instructors, materials should be flexible, interesting, and provide more opportunity for class interaction.

Wiley Mental Health Surveys

This report is the third in a series of three surveys focusing on mental health issues impacting the higher education community. The first report, The Psychology Practitioner: Navigating High Demand, Burnout, and Telemedicine , issued in December 2023, focused on mental health practitioners, while the second, The Student Mental Health Landscape , issued in March 2024, focused on college students .

Wiley is a leading publisher in psychology resources. Known for its timely subject matter, quality content, and innovative resources, Wiley’s publications and franchises are trusted by practitioners worldwide. For more resources, visit the Wiley Psychology Hub .

Methodology

The survey was completed in December 2023 through January 2024 by 971 instructors at four-year and two-year public and private colleges of varying sizes across the United States.

The full report can be accessed HERE .

About Wiley  

Wiley (NYSE: WLY) is one of the world’s largest publishers and a trusted leader in research and learning. Our industry-leading content, services, platforms, and knowledge networks are tailored to meet the evolving needs of our customers and partners, including researchers, students, instructors, professionals, institutions, and corporations. We empower knowledge-seekers to transform today’s biggest obstacles into tomorrow’s brightest opportunities. For more than two centuries, Wiley has been delivering on its timeless mission to unlock human potential. Visit us at Wiley.com . Follow us on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn and Instagram .   

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  1. Handbook of Research Methods for Tourism and Hospitality Management

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  1. Top 10 Research Topics in Hospitality and Tourism

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  3. Minimizing conflicts between residents and local tourism stakeholders

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  6. The New Tourism Paradigm: Safe Travel Ecosystem

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  1. 230+ Innovative Hospitality Management Research Topics In 2023

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    Established in 1976, the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR) plays a major role in incubating, influencing, and inspiring hospitality and tourism research.JHTR publishes original research that clearly advances theoretical development and offers practical value for hospitality and tourism ecosystems.JHTR strives to publish research with IMPACT...

  6. Four decades of sustainable tourism research: Trends and future

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    Scimago impact factor: 0.846 Tourism and Hospitality Research (THR) is firmly established as an influential and authoritative, peer-reviewed journal for tourism and hospitality researchers and professionals. THR covers applied research in the context of Tourism and Hospitality in areas such as policy, planning, performance, development, management, strategy, operations, marketing and consumer ...

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    The tourism and hospitality industries are experiencing transformative shifts driven by the proliferation of digital technologies facilitating real-time customer communication and data collection. This evolution towards customer value co-creation demands a paradigm shift in management attitudes and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Metaverse.

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    Research methods in tourism, hospitality & events management, edited by Paul Brunt, Susan Horner and Natalie Semley, SAGE Publishing, London, 2017, 360 pp., $63.00 (paperback), ISBN: 9781473919150 Gurel Cetin Department of Tourism Management, Istanbul University Correspondence [email protected]

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