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Prof. Xiang (Robert) Li

Professor and Washburn Senior Research Fellow
School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University

Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li is a Professor and Washburn Senior Research Fellow at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University. Previously, he taught at the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management at the University of South Carolina. Prof. Li’s research mainly focuses on destination marketing and tourist behavior, with special emphasis on international destination branding, customer loyalty, and tourism in Asia. He has authored over 120 scientific publications. Li serves on the editorial boards of ten journals and book series, including the Journal of Travel Research and Journal of Leisure Research.  He is currently guest-editing a special series on “Emerging Market Tourist Behavior” for the Journal of Travel Research and guest co-editing a special issue on 'Transcultural experiences within and beyond home” for the Journal of Business Research. Li’s academic work has been recognized by a number of awards, including the “Emerging Scholars of Distinction” Award by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the first ever “Best Emerging Scholar in Tourism (B.E.S.T.)” Award by the International Tourism Studies Association, and the USC Educational Foundation Award for Research in Professional Schools, which is the university's "most prestigious annual prizes for research and scholarship."

To date, Li has conducted extensive tourism research in various areas and has been awarded over $1.25 million research funding. His clients include the United States Department of Commerce/Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI), China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the United States Travel Association (UST, formerly TIA), and National Tour Association (NTA), as well as numerous destination marketing organizations and companies such as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Universal Studios Hollywood. His research on China and Japan outbound tourism and destination marketing has been cited by numerous American and international media, such as USA TodayTimeLas Vegas Sun TimesThe Globe and Mail (Canada), and China Daily. His project on Chinese outbound travel for the U.S. federal government and the industry was described as a “landmark” and “groundbreaking” project by the industry and media. Preliminary results of the study were used in the Joint China Commission on Trade (JCCT) meeting in Beijing, China, December 2007, in which the “China-U.S. MOU to Facilitate Outbound Tourist Group Travel from China to the United States” was signed. His edited book “Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0” published in December 2015, is considered “the most comprehensive book to date that is crafted to exclusively examine the Chinese outbound tourist market.” Li’s other project on American outbound travel market is one of the first marketing research projects China National Tourism Administration commissioned to a western university. During 2012–2013, Li served on the Global Insights Advisory Council for Brand USA. He holds/held adjunct or visiting faculty appointment in universities in Australia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. He is also a frequent speaker at numerous international and industry conferences.

Native of Nanjing, China, Li earned his Ph.D. in recreation, park, and tourism science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Before coming to the United States, Li worked as a destination marketing, event organizing, and tourism planning specialist in the city tourism bureau of Nanjing, China, for five years.