Research on the relationship between automation services and tourism has been rapidly growing in recent years and has led to a new service landscape where the role of robots is gaining both practical and research attention. This paper builds on previous reviews and undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the research literature to discuss opportunities and challenges presented by the use of service robots in hospitality and tourism. Management and ethical issues are identified and it is noted that practical and ethical issues (roboethics) continue to lack attention. Going forward, new directions are urgently needed to inform future research and practice. Legal and ethical issues must be proactively addressed, and new research paradigms developed to explore the posthumanist and transhumanist transitions that await. In addition, closer attention to the potential of “co-creation” for addressing innovations in enhanced service experiences in hospitality and tourism is merited. Among others, responsibility, inclusiveness and collaborative human-robot design and implementation emerge as important principles to guide future research and practice in this area.
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