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STHM professor serves as editor of new Chinese outbound tourism book

By: Jamie Cann
First Published: January 18, 2016
Topics: In the News, STHM School


Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li

During a 20-year span, from 1994 to 2013, Chinese outbound tourism increased 16 fold, reaching 98.2 million.

A new book that details the latest trends in outbound travel from China has been published, with Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li of Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) serving as its editor.

Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management at STHM, Li acted as the primary editor of the 23-chapter book, titled “Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0.” The book, published in November 2015 by Apple Academic Press, melds the world’s leading authors and tourism experts to examine their research findings and offer insights on the blossoming Chinese outbound travel market and its tourists.

“Chinese outbound tourism is changing the world’s tourism landscape,” said Li, a Washburn Senior Research Fellow at Temple University. “We are witnessing one of the most spectacular phenomena in the modern tourism history unfold in front of us. It is exciting to study the Chinese outbound tourism. ”

“Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0” appeals to a wide audience of academics, destination marketers, destination policymakers, tourism-industry professionals, and world travelers. The book offers a thorough examination of the fast-growing Chinese outbound tourist market, which as recently as 1994 registered only 6.1 million trips.

China is now the world’s largest tourism source market.

Chinese travelers in recent years have demonstrated a greater willingness to visit unfamiliar destinations, Li said, growing more value conscious and technologically savvy. This second wave of Chinese travelers is why he coined the term “Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0.” He also points to Mercedes-Benz launching its premium travel service brand, called Mercedes-Benz Travel, in Shanghai; InterContinental Hotels Group designing the Hualuxe brand Robert Li bookspecifically for Chinese consumers; and China’s Wanda Hotels & Resorts building a 5-star hotel in London as further evidence to support the growth in Chinese outbound tourism.

“Any future historian looking back at when China began to dominate travel and tourism at home and abroad may well pinpoint 2014-15 as a turning point,” said David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, who wrote the book’s foreword. “China will become increasingly central to our sector’s growth over the next decade. … We applaud Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li and his colleagues’ insightful discussion on the latest development and trends of Chinese outbound tourism.”

Li, whose research focuses mainly on international destination marketing and tourism behavior, is the author or co-author of more than 120 publications. Many of his publications have appeared in top-tier tourism, business, leisure and hospitality journals, such as the Journal of Tourism Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management and Journal of Business Research.

He serves on the editorial boards of more than 10 journals and book series, including the Journal of Travel Research and Journal of Leisure Research. To date, he has been awarded over $1.25 million in research funding from numerous prestigious foundations, government agencies, destination marketing organizations and companies.