Zheng (Phil) Xiang, an assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, presented his research at the Biennial Conference of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism in Rhodes, Greece recently.

Xiang was invited to the conference as an Emerging Scholar, “an individual who received his or her doctorate within the last 10 years and who has achieved high distinction in the quality and contribution of their research,” said Pamplin hospitality and tourism professor Richard Perdue, a Fellow of the academy.

Perdue said the academy is a select group of premier tourism scholars from throughout the world who invite no more than three emerging scholars to attend their meetings and present their research. 

Potential emerging scholars are nominated by one or more of the existing fellows and selected by the academy executive committee. Xiang was nominated by Pamplin hospitality and tourism professor Muzaffer Uysal and Dan Fesenmaier, a professor at the University of Florida.

Xiang’s research interests include travelers’ use of information technology, digital marketing strategies, social media, emergent technologies, and text mining.

He also serves on the board of directors of the International Federation for Travel and Tourism. One of his 2010 articles is among the most heavily cited papers in the area, having accrued more than 800 citations. 

Xiang holds a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in tourism management from Temple University and a master of science in leisure studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined Virginia Tech in 2013.