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STHM faculty members recognized as top tourism and hospitality researchers

By: Steve Orbanek
First Published: March 1, 2021
Topics: Faculty, Feature Story, In the News, Research, STHM School, Tourism & Hospitality, U.S.-Asia Center

New study identifies Temple’s Xiang (Robert) Li and Yang Yang as among the top 50
researchers in the fields of tourism and hospitality over the past 20 years

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 24, 2021 — In the past year alone, Xiang (Robert) Li and Yang Yang of Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) have been featured in the Washington Post, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Travel Weekly, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Voice of America, KYW Newsradio and several other prominent media outlets.

The attention comes for good reason.

According to a new journal article “Creation and dissemination of hospitality and tourism research outputs in the new millennium, which was recently published online in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, both Li and Yang rank among the world’s top 50 most productive scholars during the past 20 years in the areas of tourism and hospitality.

“It’s humbling to be recognized, but more importantly, nothing will happen without the tremendous support we have received here at Temple and STHM,” said Li, professor and chair of STHM’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. “It’s a privilege to work with a group of tremendously talented colleagues, who collectively build a culture of excellence focusing on impactful, relevant research.” 

To develop these rankings, 14,229 articles were extracted from the top-12 hospitality and tourism journals across a 20-year time span from 2000 to 2019. During this time period, Li ranked No. 20 while Yang ranked No. 32.

The journal article also dove deeper in, specifically looking at four, five-year breakout periods. For the final breakout period of 2015-2019, Yang ranked as the No. 8 scholar, an especially impressive accomplishment given his relative youth.

“It’s an honor to be recognized like this, and the rankings really reflect the important work that we seek to accomplish at Temple,” said Yang, who is an associate professor and also executive director of Temple’s U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research. “It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted the tourism and hospitality industries as hard as any. We believe that research can be part of the recovery process for these industries, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

One such example of this is the upcoming Tourism, Hospitality & Events Global Higher Education Leadership Summit 2021, which is scheduled for March 19-20 and hosted by STHM’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and the U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research. Better known as T.H.E. Summit, this virtual event is free and open to anyone in the tourism, hospitality and event industries.

The event has secured a group of industry leaders, including the CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council as well as the CEO of Hyatt and several academic leaders; deans and directors of 10-plus schools around the world will speak during the summit. 

Thus far, more than 600 industry professionals, academic leaders and students have registered to attend the event, which will explore how these industries can cope with unprecedented challenges while also detailing opportunities for innovation and growth.

For more information on T.H.E. Summit or to register, visit the event’s website.

About the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management
Established in 1998, the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) at Temple University has a distinguished tradition preparing leaders in the sport, recreation, tourism and hospitality industries.

Thoroughly committed to providing student-centered education and professional development relevant to today’s thriving sport, tourism and hospitality industry — STHM integrates applicable, real-world experience into the curriculum and classroom through its global network of industry partners and well-connected alumni network. Our award-winning faculty and cutting-edge research institutes engage in pioneering research, informing business practices and providing students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in these fast-growing industries. 

The School offers undergraduate degree programs in sport and recreation management and tourism and hospitality management; traditional graduate degree programs in sport business, and hospitality management; and two online graduate degree programs in executive sport business and travel and tourism. STHM also offers a PhD program in business administration with a concentration in tourism and sport.