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Service Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

Guest Editors

  • Dr. Faizan Ali, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee
  • Dr. Lu Zhang, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Wei Wei, Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida
  • Dr. Yuan Zhou, Research Scholar, University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee

Cihan Cobanoglu
Professor, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, USA
President, Association of North America Higher Education International, USA

What is this special issue about?
In order to survive and thrive in the increasingly dynamic business environment, hospitality and tourism firms need to be sensitive to emergent technological trends and focus on the innovative capacity of the firm. Service innovation is a broad concept that encompasses various dimensions such as service development processes, learning, organizational adaptation, and etc. (Kindstrom et al., 2013). Despite the growing literature on innovation, most of the focus has been placed on tangible products (e.g., new product development). Only a few studies tackled service innovation in the hospitality and tourism industry.  Compared to tangible products, service has the characteristics of intangibility, inseparability, perishability, and variability. These features result in increased variance in the service delivery process, which further lead to greater risks associated with innovations. Thus, more research on service innovation, especially in the hospitality and tourism industry, is demanded by both practitioners and academics. 

Service innovation has gained mounting attention from different fields, including marketing, economics, information systems, and strategy. However, research on service innovation in hospitality and tourism remains scant despite the fact that both practitioners and academics acknowledge the transformative power of service innovation. Thus, this special issue as a first in the field of hospitality and tourism makes a unique and valuable contribution in sparking more theory building and future research on this topic.

Specific topics we invite you to provide submissions on:

This special issue seeks to provide a platform for discussions on topics related to service innovation in hospitality and tourism. Issues such as the pros and cons of service innovation, the role of emergent technologies in service innovation, these impacts of service innovation on both customers and employees, and the enablers and inhibitors of service innovation will be specifically emphasized. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • State of the art  critical reviews in service innovation
  • Empirical studies on service innovation in hospitality and tourism
  • Knowledge sharing, knowledge management, service innovation performance
  • Employee engagement (emotional, cognitive, behavioral) and service innovation
  • Customer engagement and well-being through service innovation
  • Customer co-creation in service innovation
  • Service innovation through emergent technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robots
  • Service innovation through data analytics
  • Service innovation and its impact on service experience and service quality
  • Social platform and sharing economy
  • Customers’ acceptance and adoption of service innovation
  • Service innovation and organizational performance.
  • Application of new methodologies to understand and examine service innovation.


Review Process
Each paper submitted to this special issue is subject to the following review procedures:

  • 300 to 500 words abstract should be emailed to the guest editors for initial review and approval.
  • If your abstract is found suitable, you will be invited to submit your full paper. Each article needs to be approximately 3000-6000 words long.
  • 2 reviewers will be selected for a double-blind review process.
  • Based on the reviewers’ recommendation, the guest editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the particular submission should be accepted as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.

Key Dates

  • Abstract submission: 15th October 2018
  • Interested authors should email their abstracts (300 to 500 words) to Dr Faizan Ali (;
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 20th October 2018
  • Deadline for submitting the full papers: 15th February 2019
  • Special issue expected publication date: September 2019 

General submission guidelines for authors can also be found here.