Call for Papers: Special Issue on ICTs and Wellbeing: Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism


Wellbeing is a central life goal that individuals increasingly seek to achieve through tourism experiences. Many technological innovations in travel and tourism aim to increase wellbeing by making tourism experiences as enjoyable, relevant/personalized and friction-free as possible. There are also growing numbers of applications that try to help tourists be either more active or more relaxed in order to harness the health benefits of vacations. At the same time, ICT use can significantly disrupt tourism experiences and challenge wellbeing goals for the tourists and those around them. Digital wellbeing is thus not only important in everyday contexts but especially on vacation. Whether the solutions are technological or involve - at least temporary - abandonment of technologies, the connections between technology and wellbeing need to be more deeply explored in relation to tourism.

Consequently, this special issue focuses on the challenges and opportunities that ICT uses or practices create for wellbeing in tourism contexts. ICTs have rapidly penetrated the tourism industry and have become paramount for the effective supply of many tourism experiences. Tourists have been empowered by various ICT solutions closely integrated into all travel phases. However, tourists also increasingly face issues such as technological use disorders, information overload, technostress, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, etc. Due to omnipresent technology, the discontinuity between everyday life and traveling diminishes, holding important repercussions for tourists’ digital wellbeing as well as for the management of tourist experiences. Technology use on vacation also clashes with emerging lifestyles focused on different aspects of wellbeing.

This special issue aims, on one hand, to elaborate on frequent, excessive or problematic uses of ICTs (especially smartphones) that negatively influence tourism experiences and overall wellbeing goals. On the other hand, it seeks to recognize ongoing ICT and industry solutions to cope with the problem or that leverage IT uptake to create healthier experiences (for example, calm and calming technology, AR/VR). It invites empirical and conceptual contributions that theoretically advance our understanding of the relationship between ICTs and wellbeing in tourism or that offer propositions for more comprehensive and agile responses by the travel industry. 

Topics of specific interest 

Important aspects and topics to be discussed evolve around (but are not limited to): 

Problematic technologies, technology uses and tourism experience outcomes: 

  • Technology use disorders and their impact on tourism experiences 
  • Addictive travel technologies
  • Digital distractions (e.g. death by travel selfie)
  • Technostress/information overload before/during/after travel
  • Digital depersonalization of travel experiences (e.g. through complete automation)
  • Digital elasticity and spillover of everyday technology use patterns into tourism
  • FOMO as a driver of tourist behaviors
  • Technology isolation on vacation
  • Tech savviness and wellbeing-focused technology management strategies during travel

Tourism industry responses: 

  • "No-internet" and "No-smartphone" initiatives (e.g. signal jamming, phone-free spa zones)
  • Disconnected travel, digital detox retreats or no-tech destinations 
  • Technology-focused wellness programs
  • Technology-enabled mindfulness programs
  • Hyperpersonalization
  • Digital wellbeing focused advertising campaigns and initiatives 

Wellbeing-focused technologies with applications in hospitality and tourism:

  •  Fitness trackers and exercise apps
  • Persuasive health technology and gamification
  • Responsible and humane technology design
  • Calm technology design
  • VR/AR applications
  • Sleep technology (e.g. sleeping pods and sleep robots)
  • Meditation/mindfulness apps and gadgets (EEG headphones, brain sensing headbands)
  • Biophilic design in online spaces 

Technology and wellbeing trends and lifestyles with implications for tourism:

  • Digital Minimalism
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Neo-Luddism
  • Slow Tech
  • Technology restrictions based on religious beliefs (e.g. travelers following shabbat laws)
  • Travelers with electromagnetic hypersensitivity 

Submission Information 

Papers are required no later than October 10, 2019.
Notification of outcome will be provided by November 15, 2019.
Revised papers should be submitted by December 15, 2019.

Please submit manuscripts through the Springer online system (if you are a new author to the system you will be required to create a system login). Make sure you select the correct special issue option in the system!

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out.

The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

The journal imposes no hard limits on the paper length as long as what authors write is important. Submissions that exceed 40 pages in journal format (including illustrations and references) should, however, be accompanied by a short justification as to why a briefer discussion of the research results is not possible. 

Full author instructions may be found here: 8 

Any questions related to this special issue should be directed to: 

Dr. Ulrike Gretzel, University of Southern California, USA
Dr. Uglješa Stankov, University of Novi Sad, Serbia