Professor, Chairperson, Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Director, U.S. - Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research
Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li is a professor and Washburn Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University. He is also Director of Temple’s U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research. Robert’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 nearly 200 scientific publications, including 50 papers published in top-tier tourism, business, leisure, and hospitality journals. Robert serves on the editorial boards of over ten journals and book series. In multiple recent rankings, Robert has been consistently listed among the world’s top 40 contributors to top-tier tourism journals/most cited tourism scholars (Li & Xu, 2014; McKercher, 2014; 2015; Mulet-Forteza et al., in press) and one of the top five contributors to China-related tourism and hospitality research in leading journals (Bai, 2017; Bao et al., 2018).
To date, Robert has been awarded over $1.6 million in research funding. He has worked with numerous prestigious organizations, government agencies, and corporations including the World Travel & Tourism Council, United States Department of Commerce/ National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), Canadian Tourism Commission, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the United States Travel Association, and National Tour Association as well as several destination marketing organizations and companies such as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Universal Studio Hollywood. His research has been cited by many American and international media outlets, such as New York Times, USA Today, Time, Las Vegas Sun Times, The Globe and Mail (Canada), and China Daily. His project on Chinese outbound travel for the U.S. federal government and industry was described as a “landmark” and “groundbreaking” project by the industry and media. Preliminary results of the study were used at the Joint China Commission on Trade meeting in Beijing, China, Dec. 2007, in which the “China-U.S. MOU to Facilitate Outbound Tourist Group Travel from China to the United States” was signed. His 2016 edited book Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0 is considered “the most comprehensive book to date that is crafted to exclusively examine the Chinese outbound tourist market.” Robert holds/has held adjunct or visiting faculty appointments at universities in Australia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. He is also a frequent speaker at numerous international and industry conferences.
A native of Nanjing, China, Robert earned his Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Before coming to the United States, Robert worked as a destination marketing, event organizing, and tourism planning specialist in the city tourism bureau of Nanjing, China for 5 years.