The future of the travel and tourism industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with robotics being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on attraction operators.     

Robotics, or robotic process automation (RPA), is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software, or a ‘robot’, to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems.  

The deployment of robotics lessens the chance of contracting Covid-19 for travellers, for example, through limiting the frequency of human interaction between staff and guests. As a result, robots are now becoming less of a gimmick and more of a necessity for hotel companies looking to inspire traveller confidence. For businesses, investment in robotics to replace human jobs will help to boost bottom lines in the long term. Although the initial cost of investing in robotics will be high, many companies will make back what they have invested in just a few years, then after that, companies will continue to shrink fixed costs and increase profit margins. 


However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.      

According to GlobalData’s thematic research report, Robotics in Travel and Tourism, leading adopters include: Walt Disney and Comcast

Insights from top ranked companies 

Walt Disney  

Walt Disney owns and operates major theme parks and resorts located across the globe. One of the major environmental objectives Disney is working towards is the addition of two separate solar plants, built in collaboration with local utility partners at Walt Disney World in Florida. Scheduled to open in the next two years, the facilities will reportedly produce renewable energy equivalent to about 40% of the total power consumption across its four theme parks, resort hotels, and water parks. The company has also set strong targets for 2030. In eight years, Disney is aiming for net-zero emissions in its direct operations, and 100% zero-carbon electricity. 


Comcast owns several major theme parks across the globe, mainly under its Universal Parks & Resorts brand. In 2021, Universal Beijing Resort achieved LEED Gold status using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities and Communities rating system. This meant it was the world’s first theme park resort destination to earn this label. The certification comes after years of dedicated planning and work to create a more environmentally friendly and community-driven resort. Universal Beijing Resort partnered with the government to create new public transit offerings for the community around the resort, including a metro station with two lines, and new bus stops with electric shuttle buses for team members. There were also extensive walkways and bike lanes implemented for the use of team members, guests, and community residents. The resort also provides on-site housing built to the highest energy standards for more than 8,000 team members who reside there. Universal Beijing Resort reached partnerships with more than 30 local schools to create specialised tourism industry coursework so local residents can prepare for a career in tourism. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the travel and tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Travel and Tourism

  • Miral
  • SeaWorld
  • Compagnie des Alpes
  • Six Flags
  • Parques Reunidos
  • Ardent Leisure
  • Puy du Fou
  • Tivoli


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Thematic Scorecard ranks companies within a sector based on their overall leadership in the 10 themes that matter most to their industry, generating a leading indicator of their future earnings and relative position within key strategic areas.