Liping A. Cai, Ph.D.

Professor & Director, Purdue Tourism & Hospitality Research Center

Professor Liping A. Cai is an American Council on Education Fellow (2013-14 Class) and has been in the academy since 1993. He studies hospitality and tourism and has authored 300 + peer-reviewed research articles, including 20+ best papers coauthored with his doctoral students. He pioneered the cooperative branding model for rural destinations and currently focuses on branding, rural tourism, and emerging market. Professor Cai’s research team consists of Fulbright and other international scholars, as well as the faculty and graduate students affiliated with Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center. He is the principal investigator of 60+ grants and contracts. Professor Cai has co-edited the book series Bridging Tourism Theories and Practices Volumes I-IX and serves on four editorial boards of academic 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 in 2009. He also served as travel and tourism industry expert to the World Economic Forum, on the board of International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators, and as the senior academic advisor to Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel & Tourism Industry Center. He served on the Indiana Tourism Council from 2008 to 2020. Prior to his Purdue appointment in 1999, Professor Cai was director of the Center for Economic Development through Tourism in the College of Agriculture, New Mexico State University.

Professor Cai was born and raised in rural Jiangsu Province of China. In 1978 he became the country's first college student of tourism in today's Nanjing Institute of Tourism and Hospitality. He studied American and English literature in Nanjing Normal University in 1983-1986. Professor Cai worked in the tourism and banking sectors of China's new economy for 10 years before he studied at Michigan State University where he received MBA in 1993. He earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996. Professor Cai resides with his family in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

  • Dr. Liping Cai
Dr. Liping Cai

Campus Address:
263 Marriott Hall

Postal Mailing Address:
900 W. State Street
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN. 47907, USA

Phone/Voicemail: (765) 494-9560