Mingming Cheng is now a lecturer in the department of tourism at the Univeristy of Otago and was a PhD Researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He has conducted a number of projects with UN agencies including UNESCO and the UN World Tourism Organisation, and some of the projects have been realised in books, such as “Ethics and Biodiversity” and “Energy Equity and Environment Security”. As a researcher, Mingming's papers have also appeared in a number of reputable tourism, hospitality and marketing journals, such as Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management,Journal of Sustainable Tourism, International Journal of Hospitality Management and Journal of Business Research. Mingming's core research interests and expertise deal with Chinese generation Y, outbound Chinese tourists, data science and inter-disciplinary research. Mingming is keen to collaborate with scholars and industry partners.
Social media, China Research, Interdisciplinary Research, data science (big data), adventure tourism, tourism marketing
Management Research Skills
Event and Entertainment Contexts
Managing People and Organization
Event Creation Lab (Capstone)
Management Research Project (Capstone)
Cheng, M. & Foley, C. 2018, 'The sharing economy and digital discrimination: the case of Airbnb.', International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 95-98.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Digital discrimination has become a buzz word following the recent reports of racial and other discrimination associated with Airbnb. This issue is perceived to pose serious concerns with the rapid growth of the sharing economy. This research note derives insights into digital discrimination through the lens of a series of online newspaper comments made in response to an article reporting Airbnb's new anti-discrimination policy. The data were analysed by using text-mining and co-stakeholder analysis. The visualized network and each stakeholder's surrounding discourse reveal that digital discrimination contains multiple layers and meaning constructions. This paper provides a starting point for tourism and hospitality researchers to contribute to the thinking around the digital discrimination with the rapid growth of the sharing economy.
Cheng, M., Wong, A., Wearing, S.L. & McDonald, M. 2017, 'Ecotourism social media initiatives in China', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 416-432.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of social media by ecotourism management agencies and how this potentially changes the relationship between the ecotourist and the natural environment. It examines the meaning of ecotourism and the way that social media shapes visitor perceptions and meaning through an examination of the content of 775 Sina microblog postings from five leading ecotourism site management agencies in China. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the social media postings, a series of semi-structured interviews was also conducted with followers and management agencies. The findings provide an enhanced understanding of ecotourism marketing and its impacts on the ecotourist while also creating a framework for the use of social media to market ecotourism. The framework outlines the importance of the meanings associated with this form of communication through its promotional appeal to tourists and the outcomes for both the ecotourist and site management.
Cheng, M., Wong, I. & Prideaux, B. 2017, 'Political Travel Constraint: The Role of Chinese Popular Nationalism', Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 383-397.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study conceptualized a new type of political travel constraint by examining the role that popular nationalism has on Chinese outbound travel. Using a case study approach based on the 2012 Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Incident between China and Japan, the study demonstrates how Chinese popular nationalism has the potential to shape the geopolitical environment of all outbound Chinese tourism. The study proposes a new model that can be used to illustrate how popular nationalism may affect bilateral tourism in other settings. Findings of this study offer important insights for both scholars and pra
Cheng, M., Edwards, D., Darcy, S. & Redfern, K.A. 2017, 'A tri-method approach to a review of adventure tourism literature: bibliometric analysis, content analysis and a quantitative systematic literature review', Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper provides an objective, systematic and integrated review of the
Western academic literature on adventure tourism to discover the
theoretical foundations and key themes underlying the field by combining
three complementary approaches of bibliometric analysis, content analysis
and a quantitative systematic review. Some 114 publications on adventure
tourism were identified that revealed three broad areas of foci with
adventure tourism research: (1) adventure tourism experience, (2)
destination planning and development, and (3) adventure tourism
operators. Adventure tourism has an intellectual tradition from multiple
disciplines, such as the social psychology of sport and recreation. There is
an under-representation of studies examining non-Western tourists in their
own geographic contexts or non-Western tourists in Western geographic
contexts. Our findings pave ways for developing a more robust framework
and holistic understanding of the adventure tourism field.
Cheng, M. & Edwards, D. 2017, 'A comparative automated content analysis approach on the review of the sharing economy discourse in tourism and hospitality'.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Using the sharing economy (SE) as the context, this article provides a coherent and nuanced methodological understanding of automated content analysis (ACA) in tourism and hospitality (TH) field. By adopting a comparative ACA approach, the paper compares the current TH Western academic literature of the SE with news media discourse in TH from the period 2011–2016 (August) (inclusive). The emerging issues from the news media discourse, such as mobility, SE companies and the role of government, are absent in current tourism academic research. Findings reveal that ACA can facilitate a more systematic comparison between different sources of data. This paper offers a starting point for tourism scholars to methodologically engage with ACA that can draw useful insights on a particular context.
Edwards, D., Cheng, M., Wong, 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, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 690-708.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Purpose: The aim of this study is to understand the knowledge sharing structure and co-production of trip-related knowledge through online travel forums.
Design/methodology/approach: The travel forum threads were collected from TripAdvisor Sydney travel forum for the period from 2010 to 2014, which contains 115,847 threads from 8,346 conversations. The data analytical technique was based on a novel methodological approach - visual analytics including semantic pattern generation and network analysis.
Findings: Findings indicate that the knowledge structure is created by community residents who camouflage as local experts, serve as ambassadors of a destination. The knowledge structure presents collective intelligence co-produced by community residents and tourists. Further findings reveal how these community residents associate with each other and form a knowledge repertoire with information covering various travel domain areas.
Practical implications: The study offers valuable insights to help destination management organizations and tour operators identify existing and emerging tourism issues to achieve a competitive destination advantage.
Originality/value: This study highlights the process of social media mediated travel knowledge co-production. It also discovers how community residents engage in reaching out to tourists by camouflaging as ordinary users.
Cheng, M. & Foley, C. 2017, 'Understanding the distinctiveness of Chinese Post-80s tourists through an exploration of their formative experiences', Current Issues in Tourism.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Chinese Post-80s (the Chinese equivalent of Generation Y) are a distinct generation that emerged during a period of rapid political, social and economic change under Deng Xiaoping's policy exploration with capitalism. Chinese Post-80s demonstrate higher levels of both complexity and sophistication in their tourist behaviours when compared with earlier generations of Chinese tourists yet their distinctiveness has been largely ignored in tourism research. Underpinned by generational cohort theory, this study explores the formative experiences of Chinese Post-80s and provides insights into the way these experiences have shaped this generation and their outbound travel. These formative experiences include Reform and Open Policy, One Child Policy and Education Reforms. Two discrete groups: 'made in China and transnational Chinese Post-80s tourists have been identified. We argue that while Chinese Post-80s tourists may share many aspects in common with their Western counterparts, this generation presents its distinctiveness due to its emergence from a specific sets of events with China's rapid change that make Chinese Post-80s different from any generation in the global environment, creating new academic inquiries for established theories of generational studies. This nuanced understanding of Chinese Post-80s tourists has profound implications for theory and practice in the context of Chinese outbound travel.
Schweinsberg, S., Darcy, S. & Cheng, M. 2017, 'The agenda setting power of news media in framing the future role of tourism in protected areas', Tourism Management, vol. 62, pp. 241-252.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This exploratory paper examines the agenda-setting and framing role of news media in the ongoing development of the Draft Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Master Plan. The paper will argue that the publication of the Masterplan and ensuing public commentary has drawn into stark focus future challenges in juxtaposing the frames of public use, commercial tourism and scientific/cultural values in the sustainable management of protected areas. Agenda setting and framing theory provides the theoretical foundation for the paper. Guided by critical discourse analysis, the analysis of the paper is supported through the use of Leximancer and Gephi software for visually illustrating the relationship between different framing perspectives. This paper contributes to a fresh understanding of the complex nature of the sustainable management of protected areas in urban spaces.
This research note documents the current trends relating to sharing economy in tourism. It attempts to consolidate the new but fragmented and under-developed discourse on what impacts sharing economy has for tourism, and what further research inputs are required to harness the potential of sharing economy in tourism.
This paper provides an objective, systematic and holistic review of the sharing economy (SE) academic literature to uncover the theoretical foundations and key themes underlying the field by using co-citation analysis and content analysis. Sixty-six publications on sharing economy with ten papers related to tourism and hospitality from 2010 to 2015 (inclusive) have been identified. This paper revealed three broad areas of foci with sharing economy research in general: (1) SE's business models and its impacts, (2) nature of SE, and (3) SE's sustainability development as well as two areas of foci in tourism and hospitality specifically: (1) SE's impacts on destinations and tourism services (2) SE's impacts on tourists. The sharing economy has a strong intellectual tradition from lifestyle and social movement field, consumption practice and sharing paradigm. This paper presents a more robust framework and holistic understanding of the sharing economy field and calls for a new theory-informed research agenda on sharing economy to coalesce multi-level perspectives.
Rosenbaum, M., Cheng, M. & Wong, I. 2016, 'Retail knockoffs: Consumer acceptance and rejection of inauthentic retailers', Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, no. 7, pp. 2448-2455.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study extends the counterfeit product paradigm by examining an unexplored area in services – namely, the existence of inauthentic retail establishments, or so-called retail knockoffs. These fake establishments mimic the service and product offerings of genuine establishments, such as Starbucks, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Apple, and others, prevailing across Southeast Asia, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. By employing grounded the- ory methodology, this study offers an original framework that illustrates why consumers accept and patronize both authentic and inauthentic retail establishments. The model shows that many consumers are satisfied with counterfeit servicescapes and that some fake retail and service establishments are ironically building a loyal customer following. Thus, service organizations should respond to these inauthentic companies by viewing them as potential partners for innovation and expansion, rather than as future adversaries for costly litigation.
This research note seeks to examine a vast amount of tourism-related Chinese social media posts using a visual analytic approach. Visual analytics turns information overload into an opportunity. In this case, the mainstream Chinese microblog service, Sina Weibo, was selected as it generates large volumes of data, representing significant consumer insights, that are challenging to analyse by other common research methods. The most frequently reposted tourist visa news in the first eight months of 2014 were harvested and used as a case study. Findings from this study demonstrate that a visual analytic approach can offer insights into the impact of travel news on Chinese consumers. These insights include potential tourist generating regions, the life span of travel news, and tourists' attitudes towards travel policy changes. Such insights provide important implications for scholars and practitioners, such as enabling real-time decisions of Destination Management Organizations' social media marketing strategies in China.
As a complex and emerging phenomenon, nationalism presents a serious challenge to international marketers, with no exception to the field of tourism. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence in understanding the role of nationalism in tourist travel intention. A qualitative research approach with in-depth interview and on-site observation was adopted to bridge this gap during the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Incident between China and Japan since late 2012. In particular, this study seeks to shed light on the influence of nationalism on Chinese tourists. A nationalism dynamics model has been established to explore and explain different segments of tourists based on their self-perceived level of nationalism. The findings of this paper offer important implications for both scholars and practitioners in their strategic responses to this challenging nationalism phenomenon.
Cheng, M., Jin, X. & Wong, I.K.A. 2014, 'Ecotourism site in relation to tourist attitude and further behavioural changes', Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 303-311.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Despite the emergence of ecotourism in both practice and academic literature in China during recent decades, relatively little is known about the role of ecotourism site, especially in relation to tourist attitude and further behavioural change. This article seeks to address the deficit on the role of ecotourism site in Chinese domestic tourist attitude change and further adaptation of sustainable behaviour. Using a qualitative research approach with 28 interviews, the authors show that Chinese domestic tourists have become more environmentally conscious after visiting ecotourism sites and further reveals the influence of the perceived health benefits, and the ecological value of unity of nature and human beings on Chinese domestic tourists attitude change. The findings offer important implications for both tourism practitioners and academics. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Wong, I.K.A. & Cheng, M. 2014, 'Exploring the Effects of Heritage Site Image on Souvenir Shopping Attitudes: The Moderating Role of Perceived Cultural Difference', Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 476-492.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Although tourism image and souvenir shopping play critical roles in travel decisions and tourist behaviors, little is known about the relationship between them. This article seeks to address two deficits in the literature by presenting (1) the linkage between tourism image and souvenir shopping and (2) the direct and moderating effects of perceived cultural difference. Using the data drawn from UNESCO heritage sites, the authors first validated a second-order construct of heritage site image, then tested the effects of this construct and perceived cultural difference on tourists' attitudes toward souvenir shopping in two structural models. The uncovered direct and moderated results offer important implications for tourism and hospitality theories and practice. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Cheng, M., Wang, L. & Xu, X. 2013, 'The role of ecotourism sites: Transforming Chinese tourists' behavior', Tourism, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 313-316.
This study provides a timely update of some empirical findings of ecotourism experience in relation to Chinese tourists' post-trip behaviors. Based on a qualitative research approach through in-depth interview with 28 Chinese domestic tourists, the authors show that Chinese tourists explicitly or implicitly have adapted environmentally friendly lifestyles after their ecotourism travel, although the level of their improvement is equivocal. The study further reveals the factors in contributing to such environmentally friendly lifestyle changes for Chinese domestic tourists, including perceived health benefits, traditional Chinese value, the interplay between different tourists, tourist themselves and locals and the conflict of interest between tourists and environment. The findings offer important potential lines of future research.
Tourism image has commonly applied at the destination level, but its application in heritage sites with cross-cultural comparisons remains sparse. The objective of this research note is to explore the image of Hue's UNESCO world heritage sites and to examine cross-cultural differences between domestic and international tourists on this image. We adopt Echtner and Ritchie's image definition and apply it to assess the three image continuums-attribute-holistic, functional-psychological, and common-unique-using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. This study provides a timely update of the literature and offers both scholars and practitioners a better understanding of heritage site image and its cross-cultural differences. © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Cheng, M., Wong, A. & Prideaux, B. 2016, 'THE IMPACT OF POPULAR NATIONALISM ON CHINESE TOURIST FLOWS TO JAPAN', CAUTHE 2016: The Changing Landscape of Tourism and Hospitality: The Impact of Emerging Markets and Emerging Destinations, Sydney, pp. 514-525.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study examines the role of popular nationalism as a potential to constrain Chinese outbound travel. Undertaken within an interpretative paradigm using in-depth interviews, this study offers a unique perspective on the impact of Chinese popular nationalism as a political travel constraint to Japan using the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Incident. The study shows that Chinese popular nationalism emerged as a major travel constraint that now shapes the geopolitical environment of outbound Chinese tourism in contemporary China. Findings of this study offer important implications for both scholars and practitioners in understanding the Chinese popular nationalism phenomenon.
Cheng, M., Edwards, D. & Darcy, S. 2015, 'A novel review approach on adventure tourism scholarship', BEST EN Think Tank XV The Environment-People Nexus in Sustainable Tourism : Finding the Balance, South Africa, pp. 187-189.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
As a niche market, adventure tourism has been developing rapidly in many regions and territories, evidenced by increasing number of participants and intensive growth of adventure tourism products (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2013; Tourism New Zealand, 2013). It has become an important component of the tourism industry in many Western countries (e.g. New Zealand) and is gaining some prominence in domestic tourism in select emerging countries (e.g. China and Brazil). This particular growth of adventure tourism sector in past two decades is closely related to the increase of all types of nature based tourism. Adventure tourism has been strongly likened to outdoor and adventure recreation (Buckley, 2006; Pomfret & Bramwell, 2014; Sung, Morrison, & O'Leary, 1996). Buckley (2006), for example, sees little distinction between the terms adventure tourism, nature tourism, outdoor and adventure recreation in some cases. However, research in adventure tourism has been slight, especially when compared with the large number of other dominant special interest tourism studies (Buckley, 2010). As such, an updated review article on adventure tourism in the tourism context seems essential.
Cheng, M. & Wong, I. 2012, 'A Different Look at Chinese ecotourists', 18th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference, Asia Pacific Tourism Association, Taipei, pp. 253-259.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study provides an update of ecotourists travel motives, perceived value and experience, and behavioral outcomes in China. Using a qualitative research approach with 20 interviews, the authors show that tourists generally are apathetic about learning the nature.
Rather, they were more interested in self-enjoyment and health. Differences among informants were also observed. This study concludes with implications to the literature and practitioners.
Bosworth, A., Chaipraditkul, N., Cheng, M., Gupta, A., Junmookda, K., Kadam, P., Macer, D., Millet, C., Sangaroonthong, J. & Waller, A. UNESCO 2011, Ethics and Biodiversity, pp. 1-91, Bangkok.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Moss, J., McMan, M., Rae, J., Zipprich, A., Macer, D., Nyambati, A., Ngo, D., Cheng, M., Manohar, N. & Wolbring, G. UNESCO 2011, Energy Equity and Environmental Security, pp. 1-75, Bangkok.