Liping Cai headshot photo

Pronouns: he/him

Phone: 765-494-8215


Marriott Hall 263
900 West State St

Curriculum Vitae Back to Directory

Liping Cai

Professor, White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Director of Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center

Areas of Expertise

  • Rural tourism and quality of life
  • Tourism and destination branding
  • Hospitality principles and intercultural learning
  • Emerging travel markets and trends
  • International travel management and operations

HHS Signature Research Area(s)

  • Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity
  • Sustainable Organizations and Thriving Communities


Professor Liping A. Cai is an American Council on Education Fellow (2013-14) and has been in the academia since 1993. He studies consumers in tourism and hospitality and has authored or co-authored over 310 peer-reviewed articles including 21 best paper awards received with his doctoral students. He pioneered the cooperative destination branding model for rural communities and currently leads research teams on branding, rural tourism, and emerging markets. Professor Cai’s research team consists of Fulbright and other international scholars. He is a co-editor of the book series Bridging Tourism Theories and Practices (vol. 1-9) and serves on four editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals. Professor Cai received Purdue University’s designation of University Faculty Scholar in 2003 and the Four-Year University and College Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) in 2009. He previously served as travel and tourism industry expert to the World Economic Forum. He was an governor appointee on Tourism Council of the State of Indiana between 2004 and 2020. Prior to Purdue appointment in 1999, Professor Cai was the director of the Center for Economic Development through Tourism in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics of New Mexico State University.


  • PhD, 1996, Purdue University
  • MBA, 1993, Michigan State University
  • BA, 1986, Nanjing Normal University
  • AS, 1980, Nanjing Institute of Tourism & Hospitality


Current Courses

  • HTM 173 - Introduction to Tourism Management
  • HTM 372 - Global Tourism Geography
  • HTM 390 - Undergraduate Special Projects
  • HTM 398 - International Special Topics
  • HTM 399 - Special Topics in HTM
  • HTM 531 - Hospitality and Tourism Marketing II
  • HTM 690 - Hospitality and Tourism Research Problems
  • HTM 631 - Strategic Marketing in Hospitality and Tourism
  • HTM 699 - Research PhD Thesis

Selected Publications

  • Dou, X., Fan, A., & Cai, L. (2021). Mobile contextual marketing in a museum setting, Journal of Services Marketing, 35(5): 559-571.
  • Qiu, S. & Cai, L. (2021). A framework of tourist behavioral investment and application to small city tourism marketing, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 26(2): 81-94.
  • Cai, L., Wang, S., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Vacation travel, marital satisfaction, and subjective wellbeing: a Chinese perspective, Journal of China Tourism Research, 16(1):118-139.
  • Qiu, S., Cai, L., Gartner, W., Lehto, X., & Gordon, S. (2020). Tourist Self-Presentation and Diet Regulations. Tourism Management Perspectives, 35: 2211-9736.
  • Cai, L. & Wang, S. (2018). US Tourists’ perceptions of destination China over two transformative periods, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 23(3): 217-230.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Distinguished Alumni Award, The School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University - 2002
  • University Faculty Scholar, Purdue University - 2003
  • Innovative Program Award. Purdue University Office of International Programs - 2009
  • Four-Year University and College Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators - 2009
  • American Council on Education Fellow (2013-14), American Council on Education - 2014

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