Big Data and Analytics in Tourism and Hospitality: Opportunities and Risks

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The purpose of this paper is to examine and provide insights into one of the most influential technologies impacting the tourism and hospitality industry over the next five years, i.e. big data and analytics. It reflects on both opportunities and risks that such technological advances create for both consumers and tourism organisations, highlighting the importance of data governance and processes for effective and ethical data management in both tourism and hospitality.

This paper is based on a review of academic and industry literature and access to trends data and information from a series of academic and industry databases and reports to examine how big data and analytics shape the future of the industry and the associated risks and opportunities.

This paper identifies and examines key opportunities and risks posed by the rising technological trend of big data and analytics in tourism and hospitality. While big data is generally regarded as beneficial to tourism and hospitality organisations, there are extensively held ethical, privacy and security concerns about it. Therefore, the paper is making the case for more research on data governance and data ethics in tourism and hospitality and posits that to successfully use data for competitive advantage, tourism and hospitality organisations need to solely expand compliance-based data governance frameworks to frameworks that include more effective privacy and ethics data solutions.

This paper provides useful insights into the use of big data and analytics for both researchers and practitioners and offers new perspectives on the debate on data governance and ethical data management in both tourism and hospitality. Because forecasts from the UNWTO indicate a significant increase in international tourist arrivals (1.8 billion tourist arrivals by 2030), the ways tourism and hospitality organisations manage customers’ data become important.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Tourism Futures
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2020


  • Big data and analytics
  • Data ethics
  • Data governance
  • Hospitality
  • Technological trends
  • Tourism

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