Virginia Tech® home

Zheng (Phil) Xiang

Department Head
  • Professor
Zheng “Phil” Xiang
353 Wallace Hall, Virginia Tech
295 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Zheng Xiang, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (aka Virginia Tech) in the US. His research interests include travel information search, social media marketing, and business analytics for the tourism and hospitality industries. He is a recipient of Emerging Scholar of Distinction award by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He served as a board member for the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT) from 2014-2018. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Information Technology & Tourism and serves as editorial board member of several international journals including Journal of Business Research, Journal of Travel Research, and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.  


Research area 

  • Travel behavior 
  • e-Tourism 
  • Information technology 
  • Tourism analytics 

Research methods

  • Text analytics
  • Machine learning

Publications that best represent my research

  • Ma, Y., Xiang, Z., Du, Q., & Fan, W. (2018). Effects of User-Provided Photos on Hotel Review Helpfulness: An Analytical Approach with Deep Leaning. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 71:120-131. [Publisher] [Google Scholar] *
  • Xiang, Z., Du, Q., Ma, Y., & Fan, W. (2017). A comparative analysis of major online review platforms: Implications for social media analytics in hospitality and tourism. Tourism Management, 58: 51-65. [Publisher] [Google Scholar] *
  • Gretzel, U., Sigala, M., Xiang, Z., & Koo, C. (2015). Smart Tourism: Foundations and Developments. Electronic Markets: The International Journal on Networked Business. 25:179-188. (Received Best Paper of the Year Award) [Publisher] [Google Scholar]
  • Xiang, Z., Schwartz, Z., Gerdes, J., & Uysal, M. (2015). What can big data and text analytics tell us about hotel guest experience and satisfaction? International Journal of Hospitality Management, 44: 120-130. (Received the W. Bradford Wiley Memorial Best Research Paper of the Year Award at the ICHRIE Conference in Orlando, FL in July 2015). [Publisher] [Google Scholar] *
  • Xiang, Z. & Gretzel, U. (2010). Role of Social Media in Online Travel Information Search. Tourism Management, 31(2): 179-188. (No. 2 among a list of the 50 Social Sciences articles written by US-based authors most frequently downloaded from ScienceDirect since January 2005. See; most cited article in Tourism Management since 2010) [Publisher] [Google Scholar] *

* Pamplin elite list journal



  • HTM 4354 Information Technology & Social Media


  • HTM 5464 Information Technology & Business Analytics in Hospitality and Tourism Management (online)

PhD Supervision

Professional Engagements


Invited Talks

  • Keynote speaker at the Global Research Colloquium Series by Kyung Hee University, S. Korea on April 22, 2021.
  • Panelist at “Innovation at a time of crisis” webinar organized by TTRA APac Chapter on August 18, 2020.
  • University of Queensland; travel information search: development and future directions; February, 2018.

Professional Experiences

  • President, International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT), 2020-2021
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Information Technology & Tourism, since 2017


  • PhD, Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2008
  • MS, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, IL 2003
  • BS, Xi’An Jiaotong University, China 1988

Honors and Awards

  • Web of Science 2019 top 1% cited researchers
  • Best Research Paper of the Year Award at the ICHRIE Conference in New Orleans, LA in July 2019. 
  • Certificate of Teaching Award for the department by Pamplin College of Business, 2017-2018.
  • Best Paper Award (1st Place) at ENTER 2017 eTourism Conference in Rome, Italy. 
  • Best Paper of the Year Award (2016) in Electronic Markets. 
  • Pamplin College of Business’ Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award of 2015. 
  • “Emerging Scholar of Distinction” award by International Academy for the Study of Tourism. 
  • W. Bradford Wiley Memorial Best Research Paper of the Year Award at the ICHRIE Conference in Orlando, FL in July 2015. 
  • Best Paper Award (2nd Place) at the IFITT ENTER 2012 Conference in Helsingborg, Sweden.
  • Paper entitled “Representation of the Online Tourism Domain in Search Engines” was awarded the Charles R. Goeldner Article of Excellence Award in Journal of Travel Research in 2008. 

Previous Universities

  • Assistant Professor, University of North Texas, Texas, USA, 2007-2013

Industry Experiences

  • Department Director,  Yibin Municipal Tourism Bureau, China, 1993-2000