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Faculty & Staff Directory

Robert (Xiang) Li

Professor & Director of the U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism & Hospitality Research
Speakman Hall 370/371


Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li joins the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Fall 2015, following his appointment from the University of South Carolina, where he served as a full professor.

His research focuses mainly on destination marketing and tourist behavior, with special emphasis on international destination branding, customer loyalty, and tourism in Asia. Dr. Li is the author and co-author of more than 100 scientific publications, including many that have appeared in top-tier tourism, business, leisure, and hospitality journals.

Dr. Li 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 research funding, from numerous prestigious foundations, government agencies, destination marketing organizations and companies.

He was the recipient of the 2013 Emerging Scholars of Distinction Award by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the 2012 (inaugural) Best Emerging Scholar in Tourism (B.E.S.T.) Award by the International Tourism Studies Association. In 2015, he received the University of South Carolina’s USC Educational Foundation Award for Research in Professional Schools, which is the university’s “most prestigious annual prizes for research and scholarship.”

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