Internationally Award-Winning Faculty Prominent at IFITT's ENTER Conference
February 20, 2012

Dr. Zheng "Phil" Xiang, assistant professor of UNT's hospitality management program, presented his award winning research, "The New Landscape of Travel: A Comprehensive Analysis of Smartphone Apps" to industry colleagues at the International Federation for Information Technology and Travel and Tourism's (IFITT) ENTER Conference held January 24 - 27, 2012 in Helsingborg, Sweden. The paper, co-authored with doctoral student Dan Wang of Temple University, received second place for best paper among 150 presenters. "The reason we call this 'The New Landscape of Travel' is because we recognized that the Smartphone and their apps would be the next wave of change that drives consumer behavior," says Dr. Xiang. 

In addition, Dr. Xiang's study, "A Framework of Search Engine Use for Travel Planning," received third place in IFITT's Journal Article of the Year 2011. The article, co-authored with Professor Daniel R. Fesenmaier at Temple University, Dr. Bing Pang at College of Charleston, and Professor Rob Law at Hong Kong Poly University, was recently published in the Journal of Travel Research. This study examined how online travelers use search engines and how search engines are used in relation to different aspects of the travel planning process.

A recognized leader in eTourism research, Dr. Xiang was appointed by the IFITT board to co-chair the ENTER 2013 conference with Professor Lorenzo Cantoni at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. The ENTER conference is an annual event whose worldwide participants travel from over 60 countries to discuss and exchange information obtained from advanced research and case studies. Understanding the impact of information and communication technologies in travel and tourism, Dr. Xiang states, "Smartphones incorporate everything together and allow us to do all sorts of things - not just the access and use of information, but also to stay connected in today's networked society." Details of ENTER 2013, to be held in Innsbruck, Austria can be found at www.ENTER-2013.org.

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