Abstracts submissions:   15 January 2022
Abstract decisions:     15 February 2022
FULL paper submissions: 15 June 2022
Revisions and decisions: 15 December 2022
Publication: 2023




Marketing via Industry 4.0 smart technologies in hospitality and tourism


Guest Editors


Nikolaos Stylos

University of Bristol, England, United Kingdom


Yangyang Jiang

University of Nottingham Ningbo, China


Albena Pergelova

MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada



Fevzi Okumus

University of Central Florida, USA




‘Smartness’ is a structural and transformational revolution of business practices, empowered by the increased adoption and diffusion of Industry 4.0 smart technology (Buhalis, 2020). The development of powerful smart platforms, and their global diffusion have created exciting new opportunities in the field of tourism marketing (Köseoglu et al., 2020; Stylos, Zwiegelaar & Buhalis, 2021), especially in the (post-) COVID-19 era (Jiang & Stylos, 2021). This contemporary digital environment offers faster and simpler fulfillment of people’s needs, bringing the interactivity between humans and artificial intelligent agents to pastures new (Stylos, 2020; Jiang & Stylos, 2021).

Machines actively contribute to various stages of decision-making, resulting to the gradual change of humans’ position in the cyber-physical environment. Industry 4.0 technologies bring the potential to enhance firm-consumer interactions and further boost marketing efficiency (Pergelova & Angulo-Ruiz, 2017) not only for large organizations, but also (and importantly) for small and medium-sized ones, which are usually more resource-constrained. In this vein, new technologies have been found to be especially important for small companies trying to expand existing markets as well as to develop (into) new ones (Pergelova et al., 2019).

The introduction of smart digital systems and apps offer enhanced usability and visibility of tourism and hospitality services, transforming the human-machine relationships and leading to real-time integration of a variety of data management anywhere and anytime (Buhalis, 2022). In fact, smart technologies transform tourism and hospitality, creating new dynamics in the relationships between various stakeholders of the tourism business ecosystem (Jiang & Wen, 2020; Stylos, Zwiegelaar, & Buhalis, 2021). This tendency may be potentially strengthening synergies throughout the tourism sector, which improve operations, interactions and communications because of stakeholders gaining relatively easy access to an ever-expanding range of smart platforms (Stylos, Fotiadis, Shin & Huan, 2021).

Although the machine-human interaction has been quite extensively studied during the last few years (e.g. McCartney & McCartney, 2020; Tussyadiah, 2020), published research on the impact of smart technologies on tourists’ preferences is still limited. Specifically, the examination of stakeholders’ interactions, experiences and associated organizational benefits from smartness, as these emerge from reengineering blueprints in the tourism and hospitality services, needs in-depth investigation (Jiang & Wen, 2020). The research focus is gradually shifting from a general conceptualization of smart technologies that enhance customer experiences to a more thorough investigation of the effects smartness brings to customers, organizations, and the local community (Huang et al., 2021; Jeong & Shin, 2020). Therefore, the smart interactions among different stakeholders need to be examined by taking into consideration how smart technologies can dynamically support communications, supply chains, customer interactions, and stakeholder engagement, and boost the efficiency of overlapping business ecosystems both spatially and temporally (Buhalis & Leung, 2018).

The aim of this special issue is to provide new theoretical approaches and offer new ways for implementing smartness in tourism and hospitality. Thus, we place particular importance on the attributes of the dynamic capabilities and increased assimilation of smart technologies to develop a more comprehensive smart transformational business perspective. Seeking to understand the influence of ‘smart’ on tourism and hospitality business and individual decision-making processes, we propose this special issue inviting theoretical and empirical contributions, such as models, approaches, methods, tools and case studies, to offer insights into the relevant phenomena.

This special issue calls for conceptual or empirical research articles in topics of interest which include, but are not limited to:

  • Antecedents and evaluations of stakeholder interactions using smart technologies.
  • New theoretical models and blueprints illustrating the impact of smart technology platforms on aspects of the tourism ecosystem.
  • Smart technologies for ensuring better well-being for tourists and employees of the tourism sector.
  • Revealing how the smart transformational business perspective would benefit the effective functioning of the whole network of stakeholders to increase resilience in the sector.
  • Educating tourists, employees in tourism and hospitality and managers on available smart service interactions.
  • Ways of incorporating and assessing the impact of new smart applications on tourism and hospitality organizations’ business performance.
  • Ways of incorporating and assessing the impact of new smart applications on consumers’ service experience.
  • How can tourism and hospitality stakeholders benefit from the power of smart technologies by matching systems and offerings with the changing reality of consumer needs?
  • How should tourism and hospitality stakeholders address the dark sides of smart technologies?
  • How can tourism and hospitality marketers and managers harness the emergence of smart technologies in the sector to enhance stakeholders’ well-being?
  • How to address the opportunities and challenges for present and prospective travelers to adopt smart technologies in their tourism activities?
  • What policies and rules should be put in place to effectively support and govern the use of smart technologies by tourism and hospitality organizations?
  • Cross-cultural perspectives of tourism marketing using smart technologies in a (post-) COVID-19 global economy.
  • Ethical issues in the use of smart technologies for marketing in tourism and hospitality.
  • How can small and medium-sized organizations of the tourism sector leverage smart technologies for increased competitiveness?
  • Use of smart technologies by small tourism companies to reach international markets / customers.


Submission procedure

Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the special issue guest editors regarding potential topics of interest or any questions/suggestions regarding the special issue. Abstracts (up to 750 words) can be submitted directly to all guest editors via email by 15 January 2022 at the following addresses:

Nikolaos Stylos, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yangyang Jiang, University of Nottingham Ningbo China. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Albena Pergelova, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstracts must be concise and to the point, with appropriate references. The abstracts will be reviewed by all guest editors, and those that make significant contributions and fit the theme of the special issue will be invited for full paper submission. Full papers must be submitted online by 15th  June 2022 through ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. When submitting your manuscript, please select the special issue on “Marketing via Industry 4.0 Smart Technologies”.  Registration and access is available at:  https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jhti  Author guidelines for JHTI can be found at: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=jhti


Review process

Each paper submitted to this special issue will be subject to the following review procedures:

  • It will be reviewed by the guest editors for general suitability for this specialissue.
  • If it is judged suitable, three reviewers will be selected for a rigorous double-blind review process.
  • Based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the guest editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the particular paper should be accepted as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.



Abstracts submissions:                  15 January 2022

Abstract decisions:                          15 February 2022

FULL paper submissions:             15 June 2022

Revisions and decisions:                15 December 2022

Publication:                                      2023



Buhalis, D. (2020). Technology in tourism-from information communication technologies to eTourism and smart tourism towards ambient intelligence tourism: a perspective article. Tourism Review, 75 (1), 2670 – 272.

Buhalis, D. (2022). Information and communication technologies in tourism. In Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Buhalis, D., & Leung, R. (2018). Smart hospitality—Interconnectivity and interoperability towards an ecosystem. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 71, 41-50.

Huang, A., Chao, Y., de la Mora Velasco, E., Bilgihan, A., & Wei, W. (2021). When artificial intelligence meets the hospitality and tourism industry: an assessment framework to inform theory and management. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights,  https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-01-2021-0021

Jeong, M., & Shin, H. H. (2020). Tourists’ experiences with smart tourism technology at smart destinations and their behavior intentions. Journal of Travel Research59(8), 1464-1477.

Jiang, Y., & Stylos, N. (2021). Triggers of consumers’ enhanced digital engagement and the role of digital technologies in transforming the retail ecosystem during COVID-19 pandemic. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 172https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121029.

Jiang, Y., & Wen, J. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 on hotel marketing and management: a perspective article. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(8), 2563-2573.

Köseoglu, M. A., Mehraliyev, F., Altin, M., & Okumus, F. (2020). Competitor intelligence and analysis (CIA) model and online reviews: integrating big data text mining with network analysis for strategic analysis. Tourism Review76(3), 529-552.

McCartney, G., & McCartney, A. (2020). Rise of the machines: Towards a conceptual service-robot research framework for the hospitality and tourism industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(12), 3835-3851.

Pergelova, A., and Angulo-Ruiz, F. (2017) Measuring the Efficiency of Digital Advertising. In Rodgers, Shelly and Thorson, Esther “Digital Advertising,” Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Pergelova, A., Manolova, T., Simeonova-Ganeva, R., & Yordanova, D. (2019). Democratizing Entrepreneurship? Digital Technologies and the Internationalization of Female‐Led SMEs. Journal of Small Business Management, 57 (1), 14-39.

Stylos, N. (2020). Technological evolution and tourist decision-making: a perspective article. Tourism Review, 75 (1), 273 – 278.

Stylos, N., Fotiadis, A. K., Shin, D. D., & Huan, T. C. T. (2021). Beyond smart systems adoption: Enabling diffusion and assimilation of smartness in hospitality. International Journal of Hospitality Management98https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2021.103042.

Stylos, N., Zwiegelaar, J., & Buhalis, D. (2021). Big data empowered agility for dynamic, volatile, and time-sensitive service industries: the case of tourism sector. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 33 (3), 1015 – 1036.

Tussyadiah, I. (2020). A review of research into automation in tourism: Launching the Annals of Tourism Research Curated Collection on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research81https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.102883.