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Technology acceptance before and after COVID-19: no-touch service from hotel robots

Technology acceptance before and after COVID-19: no-touch service from hotel robots

Zhong, Lina, Coca-Stefaniak, J. Andres ORCID: 0000-0001-5711-519X, Morrison, Alastair ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-1083, Yang, Liyu and Deng, Baolin (2022) Technology acceptance before and after COVID-19: no-touch service from hotel robots. Tourism Review. ISSN 1660-5373 (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-06-2021-0276)

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Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to investigate the consumer acceptance of robots in hotels before and after COVID-19, with a specific emphasis on whether COVID-19 had a significant effect on the acceptance of robots by hotel guests and whether guests had higher levels of acceptance of hotel robots since the initial
COVID-19 outbreak was brought under control in China.
Design/methodology/approach – The sample for this research included Chinese hotel guests before and after COVID-19, with 247 responses obtained before its outbreak and a further 601 responses gathered after. Several hypotheses were developed and tested in a pseudo-experimental design.

Findings – The results showed that COVID-19 increased hotel guest acceptance of robots. After COVID19, the perceived importance of the usefulness, social influence, attitude and value of robots increased, while the perceived importance of the ease of use and anthropomorphism of robots decreased. As a contactless service, the usefulness of robots was more valued by customers. This led customers to lower their requirements for the ease of use of robots. In addition, people were more concerned about the social influences on robot use.

Research limitations/implications – Hotel guest attitudes and behavioral intentions toward robots and the services they can provide are changing. However, whether this change is purely ephemeral and motivated by a pragmatic stance triggered by COVID-19 remains to be established.

Practical implications – The hospitality industry is encouraged to create a new profile of guests in terms of their favorable or unfavorable disposition toward being served by robots. Hotels should consider the deployment of robots according to the demographic characteristics of customers (e.g. according to
guest age levels).

Originality/value – This research demonstrated that major crises affect customer attitudes and behaviors toward new technologies. COVID-19 resulted in guests paying more attention to the
advantages of services offered by hotel robots as a means of reducing the probability of contagion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; robots; hotels; technology acceptance model (TAM); artificial intelligence (AI)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
Last Modified: 05 May 2022 14:30
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/35673

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