Guest Editorial


Artificial intelligence (AI) is motivating the automation of processes and services, being recently used as a way to interact directly with customers in frontline services (Belanche et al., 2020a). AI constitutes a major source of innovation (Huang and Rust, 2018), with a potential for disruption particularly high in services (Bock et al., 2020). As a result, there is an increasing interest in implementing automated forms of interaction in services (Paluch et al., 2020; Flavián et al., 2021), and this trend is not different in the tourism, leisure and hospitality industry. The use of AI and autonomous robots to perform different tasks in this context is continuously increasing (Ivanov and Webster, 2019; Tussyadiah, 2020; Belanche et al., 2020b), which is reshaping the service and affecting experiences and relationships with customers. In addition, service automation may have a great impact on customer choices (Van Doorn et al., 2017) and behaviors (Grewal et al., 2017).