COVID-19: The catalyst for digital transformation in the hospitality industry?



covid-19, crisis, digital transformation, hotels, pandemics.


Until the outbreak of COVID-19, digital transformation was not on many hotels' strategic plan, despite its efficiency-related benefits for saving time, creating better customer experiences, increasing revenue, and supporting decision-making. However, like in many other industries, the COVID-19 physical distancing good practices and governments' restrictions acted as a catalyst and promoted hotels' digitalization. To this end, a questionnaire was administered to 51 hotel managers to verify if that happened in Portuguese hotels and what processes were most impacted. Results showed that 92% of the hotel managers agreed that COVID-19 promoted the digitalization of processes, with most organizations considering that online meetings and technology productivity tools are here to stay. Hotels’ digitalization has the potential to generate high-efficiency gains both in public-facing operations as well as in back-office operations. This study highlights these implications and intends to spur researchers to investigate the practical impact of these implications on business efficiency and social theory.

Author Biographies

  • Nuno Antonio, NOVA IMS

    Nuno António holds a PhD in Science and Information Technology, a Master’s degree in Hotel Administration and management and a Degree in Software Engineering. His research interests are related to the application of Machine Learning, Text Mining, Data Mining and Big Data. Nuno António is invited Assistant Professor at NOVA IMS and CTO of Itbase/WareGuest, a company specialized in the development of decision support systems.

  • Paulo Rita, NOVA IMS
    Paulo Rita was a Post-Doc in E-Marketing (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), holds a PhD in Marketing (Cardiff University) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Quantitative Methods in Management (University of Glasgow). His research interests focus on Digital Marketing, Social Media, Marketing Analytics, Consumer Behavior and Tourism Marketing. He is Full Professor of Marketing and Director of the MSc in Data-driven Marketing at NOVA IMS.


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Tourism/Hospitality: Short Communications

How to Cite

Antonio, N., & Rita, P. (2021). COVID-19: The catalyst for digital transformation in the hospitality industry?. Tourism & Management Studies, 17(2), 41-46.