The aim of this study is to identify empirical studies that explore and investigate ethical leadership in order to assess and synthesise its impacts and outcomes. This study seeks to provide an evidence-informed answer to the following questions: (a) how is ethical leadership defined in the field of tourism and hospitality? (b) in what settings/contexts was ethical leadership empirically investigated? (c) how was it examined? (d) what were the results of the ethical leadership studies? (e) and, finally, what is the future of ethical leadership in the tourism and hospitality industry? A systematic literature review, using medical science-based methodology, was conducted to synthesise research by reliable means. Four themes were identified from the analysis. These themes are as follows: ethical leaders' characteristics, healthy work environment, ethical leadership effectiveness and the application of ethical leadership across cultures. The study provides the potential to move hospitality and tourism leadership forward and encourage researchers to investigate new research topics. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first systematic review focusing on ethical leadership in tourism and hospitality settings.