Preference for robot service or human service in hotels? Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Seongseop (Sam) Kim, Jungkeun Kim, Frank Badu-Baiden, Marilyn Giroux, Youngjoon Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

305 Citations (Scopus)


Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are becoming more prominent in the tourism industry. Nowadays, consumers are faced with multiple options involving both human and robot interactions. A series of experimental studies were implemented. Four experiments demonstrated that consumers had a more positive attitude toward robot-staffed (vs. human-staffed) hotels when COVID-19 was salient. The results were different from previous studies, which were conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the moderating role of perceived threat in consumers’ preference for robot-staffed hotels was significant, the respondents’ preference was attributed to the global health crisis. This research provides a number of theoretical and managerial implications by improving the understanding of technology acceptance during a health crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102795
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • COVID-19
  • Robotics
  • Robots
  • Threat
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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