Faculty and Staff Directory » Liang Tang

View Directory | Update Profile

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management

Office: 12 MacKay, Ames, IA 50011-1078
Phone number: +1 (515) 2948489
Email: rebeccat@iastate.edu

Research interests

  • Big data analytics in social media for hospitality and tourism 
  • Application of social cognition theories to understand marketing persuasion and communication in hospitality, tourism, and event industry
  • The applications of eye-tracking techniques in marketing practices
  • Destination planning and marketing (destination image, special interest tourism, tourist behavior)


Dr. Liang (Rebecca) Tang got her Ph. D. degree of hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University in 2009. Her primary research interest is tourism marketing and destination planning. She has produced over 150 journal papers, book chapters, and conference papers. Many of her research papers have been accepted by top tourism and hospitality journals such as Tourism Management, Journal of Travel Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, etc. Seven of her conference papers have been selected as a "best paper" or a "most recommended paper" in the national and international tourism and hospitality conferences. 

Dr. Tang's work experiences in the tourism and hospitality industry are varied and diverse, spanning two countries: the U.S. and China. She has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator of 16 grant-support projects with over one million U.S. dollars since she joined in ISU. Dr. Tang has taken a lead of a team of researchers to conduct a tourism development and marketing plan for Lucas County, Iowa, U.S. (2010 - 2012). she also served as a co-principal investigator of a project which aims to develop entrepreneurship and marketing strategies for small businesses in Iowa (2011-2016), sponsored by Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station (IAHEES), U.S. department of Agriculture (USDA), Iowa State University (ISU). Moreover, she is a core member of ISU team (co-principal investigator) to establish and maintain  the first and only American Cultural Center in Henan Province, China with the support of U.S. Embassy in 2012-2017.  Due to the outstanding performance, the ISU team (Dr. Tang serves as co-principal investigator) again got the grant from U.S. Embassy to establish the other American Cultural Center in Heilongjiang Province, China during the time period of 2014-2016. Particularly, the annual "Bald Eagle & Panda" U.S.-China Culture Exchange Virtual Conference founded by the ISU team and its Chinese partners probably the most successful event on Chinese university campuses with the diplomatic goal of promoting American culture.  Dr. Tang's work has received the attention of publicity. More than 40 articles related to her research work could be found in newspapers and online sources in both English and Chinese. 

Dr. Rebecca Tang has been dedicated to diverse scholarship activities. She has been appointed as the Regional Vice President for the North America (U.S., Canada, & Mexico) of International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) (2013 – 2016). And she has been invited as an ad-hoc reviewer or a member of review board for 17 hospitality and tourism, and general management and marketing journals. Many of them are top-tier journals. She has also served as an ad-hoc reviewer for many hospitality and tourism conferences. Considering her outstanding performance in the field, she has been invited to deliver workshops in the universities overseas. Particularly, she was appointed as honor professor by Harbin University of Science and Technology (HUST), China. Under the bridge of Dr. Rebecca Tang, HUST and ISU signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) and memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the educational partnership in the fields of engineering and science.