Industry 4.0 and Implications for Tourism in the Asia-Pacific region

Editor-in-chief: Marianna Sigala

Special Issue Editors: Assoc Prof Seul Ki Lee, Assoc Prof Kaede Sano, Dr Aaron Tham, Prof Ulrike Gretzel

Industry 4.0 (also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution) has its origins in German manufacturing circles (Frank, Dalenogare & Ayala, 2019). The term has since been adapted to conceptualise existing practices of technology-centric business ecosystems, where the key concepts of big data and the Internet of Things influences production and consumption behaviour (Zhong, Xu, Klotz & Newman, 2017). Industry 4.0 is premised on a knowledge economy and is a catalyst for value co-creation (Piccarozzi, Aquilani & Gatti, 2018). However, there is scant literature surrounding the understanding of Industry 4.0 and how it may be applied to tourism in the Asia Pacific (Kabadayi, Ali, Choi, Joosten & Lu, 2019; Oztemel & Gursev, 2020).

In the tourism and hospitality context, industry adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies has emerged, with organisations deploying artificial intelligence (AI), robots, machine learning, among others in locations such as airports, hotels and restaurants (Cain, Thomas & Alonso Jr, 2019). Nagata (2018) reported on how the Japan Tourism Bureau created a chatbot, Miko, acting as a virtual concierge to provide recommendations whilst tourists interact with their local experiences, thereby managing the big data requests as Japan hosts the upcoming Olympics, as well as other tourists. The Asia-Pacific region is uniquely positioned as a corridor of technological uptake and leadership in terms of cutting-edge knowledge, skills and abilities to deal with a range of issues, which offer valuable propositions for tourism (Litsareva, 2017).

However, Pencarelli (2020) notes that Industry 4.0 developments need to be scrutinized with respect to their contributions to sustainability and quality of life for tourism stakeholders. For instance, how does Industry 4.0 alter the tourism labour landscape – staffing requirements, ethical dilemmas, and new service design principles? How can Industry 4.0 technologies applied to tourism mitigate climate change instead of further contributing to it? These and other major challenges and questions regarding the roles and responsibilities of the tourism industry have emerged, and research is required to address the unknown potentials but also looming dangers of Industry 4.0.

Building on this current body of knowledge (or lack thereof), this special issue calls for conceptual, methodological and empirical submissions to provide insights around topics and themes as to how Industry 4.0 can be adopted or has manifested in tourism within the Asia-Pacific region.

Submissions along the following themes are highly welcome, though other relevant areas will also be considered:

  • Industry 4.0 as a tool to approach climate change challenges in tourism
  • Effective mechanisms of Industry 4.0 towards business employment and market supply
  • Measurements and key performance indicators of Industry 4.0 in tourism
  • Industry 4.0 and the implications on First Nations/Indigenous tourism products and experiences
  • Industry 4.0 and exemplars of smart tourism
  • The rise of the gig economy and how Industry 4.0 can benefit this informal sector
  • Successes and challenges of adopting Industry 4.0 in tourism
  • Industry 4.0 and tourism in the Global South
  • Barriers to implementing Industry 4.0 in tourism
  • Business model reconfiguration in the Asia Pacific to leverage on Industry 4.0 potential as compared to other world regions
  • Asia-Pacific workforce requirements for an Industry 4.0 tourism landscape
  • Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented/Virtual Reality amidst Industry 4.0 for tourism in the Asia-Pacific, including cross-cultural contrasts
  • Blockchains and cryptocurrencies in future-proofing Industry 4.0 for the tourism sector within Asia-Pacific
  • Industry 4.0 and the changing demands/expectations of Asia-Pacific hospitality
  • Industry 4.0 and the new world of events

All full papers submitted to the journal will then go through a double-blind peer review process to determine acceptance. The special issue is slated to be published in 2022.

Key Dates:

● Submission of full paper: 30 September 2021

● Publication of Special Issue: Second half of 2022

Please submit your original manuscripts to the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management website at:

A guide for authors regarding manuscript submission to the journal can be accessed at:


Cain, L., Thomas, J., & Alonso Jr, M. (2019). From sci-fi to sci-fact: The state of robotics and AI in the hospitality industry. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 10(4), 624-650.

Frank, A. G., Dalenogare, L. S., & Ayala, N. F. (2019). Industry 4.0 technologies: Implementation patterns in manufacturing companies. International Journal of Production Economics, 210(Apr), 15-26.

Kabadayi, S., Ali, F., Choi, H., Joosten, H., & Lu, C. (2019). Smart service experience in hospitality and tourism services: A conceptualization and future research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 30(3), 326-348.

Litsareva, E. (2017). Success factors of Asia-Pacific fast-developing regions’ technological innovation development and economic growth. International Journal of Innovation Studies, 1(1), 72-88.

Nagata, K. (2018). New Japan travel app pairs Microsoft’s AI chatbot with Navitime guidance. Retrieved from

Oztemel, E., & Gursev, S. (2020). Literature review of Industry 4.0 and related technologies. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 31(1), 127-182.

Pencarelli, T. (2020). The digital revolution in the travel and tourism industry. Information Technology & Tourism, 22(3), 455-476.

Piccarozzi, M., Aquilani, B., & Gatti, C. (2018). Industry 4.0 in management studies: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 10(10), 3821.

Zhong, R. Y., Xu, X., Klotz, E., & Newman, S. T. (2017). Intelligent manufacturing in the context of Industry 4.0: A review. Engineering, 3(5), 616-630.