I am an award winning researcher with more than a dozen of research awards recognising my ground breaking and innovative research in tourism. In 2020, I was the only early career researcher listed as the World Top 50 Most Productive Scholar in tourism and hospitality based on the outputs between 2015 and 2019.
Research Awards (Selected)
Areas of Research Expertise
Data science, Advanced Research Methods, Chinese generation Y, Tourism Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Sharing Economy
Current Research Projects
Chinese Students’ Study Choice (Funded by StudyPerth)
The sharing economy
This is on-going research on many aspects of the sharing economy, generating a series of multidisciplinary research projects with researchers from a variety of backgrounds, including business, sociology, economics, environmental science, computer science and engineering.
Chinese outbound tourists
Chinese outbound tourists has enjoyed a rapid growth in the last decade with the potential to grow much larger. In New Zealand, Chinese tourists have now became New Zealand’s second largest tourist market, with nearly 4000,000 Chinese tourists in 2016. However, many tourist destinations underestimate the importance of a culturally sensitive approach when servicing this group, particularly with the emerging young Chinese, who are gradually becoming the largest driving force for Chinese outbound travel. My current research examines various aspects of Chinese outbound tourists’ behaviour.
- Cheng, M., & Foley, C. (2017). Understanding the distinctiveness of Chinese Post-80s tourists through an exploration of their formative experiences. Current Issues in Tourism. 10.1080/13683500.2017.1406462 (SSCI, ABDC: A)
- Cheng, M., Wong, A., & Prideaux, B. (2017). Political Travel Constraint: The Role of Chinese Popular Nationalism. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 34(3), 383-397 (SSCI) (ABDC: A)
- New Zealand Tourism Business Needs Research Report with Dr Craig Lee and Professor Neil Carr
- Media coverage: How Nationalism Guides Chinese Outbound Travel.
Big data in tourism
Recent advances in technology and growing emphasis on internet of things have led to a big data era in tourism and hospitality. However, while big data has received considerable media coverage in highlighting the benefits of using big data, the tourism and hospitality research in this area lags behind. There is ongoing research that develops new methods in tapping the potential of big data in tourism by generating better answers to existing and new questions.
Spatial-temporal behaviour of tourists
Associate Professor Deborah Edwards, University of Technology Sydney.
- Edwards, D., Cheng, M., Wong, I.A., Zhang, J., & Wu, Q. (2017). Ambassadors of Knowledge Sharing: Co-produced Travel Information Through Tourist-Local Social Media Exchange. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29 (2), 690-708. (SSCI) (ABDC: A)
- Cheng, M. (2017). Big Data Management, edited by Fausto Pedro García Márquez and Benjamin Lev, Switzerland, Spring International Publishing. Information Technology & Tourism. 17(4), 455-456.(ABDC: B)
Measuring the impacts of 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia using non-traditional methods
A mega event attracts visitors to a host destination for the event experience, bringing in economic and non-economic gains to the destination. The user-generated discussions of the mega event on social media sites have important implications in place making and destination branding. This nexus between events and destinations in branding is a focal point of this research, which uses text-mining and sequential rule mining methods to examine twitter data related to The 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). The research analyses both tweets discussing GC2018 and tweets posted within the host location area to differentiate visitors from non-visitors to the event and to understand their activities and travel patterns. This unconventional approach will complement conventional visitor survey approach in providing insights on how to capitalise on social media data for destination marketing and understanding visitor behaviour. This research project is funded by Griffith University in collaboration with researchers from Griffith Institute of Tourism.
Dr Xin Jin, Griffith University, Australia
Dr Ying Wang, Griffith University, Australia
Advanced sentiment Analysis
Dr Aaron Hsiao from Griffith University, Australia
Associate Professor Emily Ma from University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Ma, E., Cheng, M., & Hsiao, A. (2018). Sentiment Analysis — Bridging Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis: A Review and Agenda for Future Research in Hospitality contexts. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. (SSCI) (ABDC: A) 10.1108/IJCHM-10-2017-0704
There is on-going research collaboration on consumer behaviour.
Service Knockoffs in China
The most recent one is on service knockoffs in China with Professor Mark Rosenbaum from the University of South Carolina and Professor Anthony Ipkin Wong from the City University of Macau, China.
- Rosenbaum, M.; Cheng, M.;. & Wong, I.A.(2016). Introducing Servicescape Knockoffs: Understanding consumer acceptance and rejection of inauthentic retail establishments. Journal of Business Research. (SSCI) (ABDC: A)
- Media coverage
- Edwards, K., Rosenbaum, M., & Cheng, M. (2018). Legal Implications of Soundalike Hotels in China: Haiyatt and Marvelot. Tourism Management. 68, 162-167 (SSCI) (ABDC: A*)
Users’ experiences of fine dining Chinese restaurants
Dr Aaron Hsiao from Griffith University, Australia
Associate Professor Emily Ma from University of Massachusetts Amherst, US
Past Research Projects
- Chinese incentive delegate expenditure in Australia (Business Event Sydney)
- Customer Service Quality and Performance (UTSActivate gym)
- The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Master plan: The Effects of Cultural History and Stakeholder Power on the Nature of Controversy
- Destination’s competitiveness from a bottom-up approach
- Cross cultural analysis of SME corporate social responsibility engagement
- Learning Analytics for Graduate Attributes: Business School Masters Research Project (capstone)
- Using Smart Phones and Integrated Methodology in a Field Trial to Understand Tourist Dispersal Beyond Gateway Cities (Destination New South Wales)
- The Full Value of Business Events: Incorporating Beyond Tourism Benefits (BTB) Outcomes
- Measuring research impact beyond academic publications and citations
- Identify Conations of Connectivity of City Space
- CLARA – Learning Analytics Tool evaluation across UTS