Dr Wenjie Cai

Dr Wenjie Cai BEng, BA, MSc, FHEA, PhD

Associate Head of the School of Management & Marketing - Research & Knowledge Exchange

Key details

Dr Wenjie Cai

Associate Head of the School of Management & Marketing - Research & Knowledge Exchange


Dr Wenjie Cai is an Associate Professor in Tourism. Wenjie joined the University of Greenwich in September 2017 after completing his PhD in Tourism from the University of Surrey. Wenjie is an experienced qualitative researcher, his area of expertise and research interests include digital wellbeing, social inclusion, knowledge creation, technology use, and consumer behaviour. Wenjie aims to advocate digital well-being and support marginalised and disadvantaged groups through his research. He has more than 30 research outputs, including publications in world-leading journals in the field. Before joining Greenwich, Wenjie had various working experiences in industry and academia. He worked for the University of Surrey, the University of East London and the world-leading tour operator TUI.

Wenjie collaborates with international colleagues in various interdisciplinary projects. He has been advocating knowledge transfer and public engagements. His research on digital-free tourism has been reported globally by more than 300 media including BBC, CNN, the World Economic Forum, Forbes, CCTV, Yahoo, and La Vanguardia. He led the Research Innovation Collaboration (KEEP+) funded by the European Regional Development Fund to investigate the long-term impact of digital detox holidays on wellbeing.

Wenjie’s recent projects include book editor of the ‘Routledge Handbook of Gender in Tourism’, and special issue editor of the ‘Transforming to a sustainable visitor economy with information systems’ at the Information Systems Journal. Wenjie also initiates conversations and discussions on a kinder, more supportive academia.

Responsibilities within the university

    Responsibilities within the university:

  • Teaching tourism and hospitality modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Dissertation supervisors and personal tutor.
  • PhD supervision
  • Wenjie is currently available for PhD supervision in the following areas:

  • Backpacker tourism
  • Tourist Behaviour
  • Chinese independent travellers
  • Digital wellbeing / digital-free tourism
  • Social inclusion and tourism
  • Mobilities

Awards

  • 2021 John Campbell Research Impact – Highly Commended Paper: An affordance perspective of team collaboration and enforced working from home during COVID-19. European Journal of Information Systems, 29(4), 429-442.
  • 2019 Early Career Researcher Communication and Engagement Award – University of Greenwich
  • 2016 Outstanding PhD Thesis Award – 8th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure
  • 2013 PhD Participant Award - Celebrating and Enhancing the Tourism Knowledge-based Platform: A Tribute to Jafar Jafari

Recognition

PhD External Examiner:

2019: University of Tasmania, Australia

2018: University of Otago, New Zealand

Special Issue Editor:

Transforming to a sustainable visitor economy with information systems – Information Systems Journal

Gender and Sexuality in Tourism and Hospitality – Tourism and Hospitality Research journal

Book Editor:

Routledge Handbook on Gender in Tourism

Editorial Board:

Journal of Travel Research

European Journal of Tourism Research

Reviewers for:

Annals of Tourism Research

Tourism Management

Journal of Sustainable Tourism

International Journal of Tourism Research

Tourism Geographies

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Tourism Management Perspectives

Tourism and Hospitality Research

European Journal of Information Systems

Information Systems Journal

Journal of Business Research

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

Journal of Cleaner Production

IFIP World Computer Congress

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

Research / Scholarly interests

Dr Wenjie Cai's current research focus on digital wellbeing, diversity, equality and social inclusion in the context of tourism and hospitality. Projects include studies investigating the benefits of digital detox holidays, action plans to transform gender relations in tourism and hospitality, and inclusive LGBT holiday spaces.

Dr Wenjie Cai also conducts projects in relation to his PhD research. He is currently leading multiple projects in intercultural communications, such as investigating backpackers' authentic seeking through food consumption, and hybrid identity negotiations and transformations through the backpacker journey.

Wenjie is interested in qualitative methods and epistemology in tourism. He is currently working on projects to further explore (auto)ethnography, mobile methods, and critically investigate the knowledge creations in Information Technology and Tourism.

Key funded projects

2022 Impact Development Fund: Prototyping the digital-free experiences (Co-Investigator)

2020-2021 KEEP+ Research Innovation Collaboration Grant (Principal Investigator): design a customised and unique digital-free travel experience, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

2020 Small Research Grant: Exploring the trends of knowledge creation in information technology and tourism research (Principal Investigator), Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich

2018-2019 ROOTS - Recognising Cultural Heritage Opportunities for Tourism SMEs (Researcher), co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union.

Media activity

The Conversation: 
How to enjoy a digital detox over Christmas: https://theconversation.com/how-to-enjoy-a-digital-detox-over-christmas-173459

Zoom meetings help marginalised staff feel included – we should keep having them even after offices reopen: https://theconversation.com/zoom-meetings-help-marginalised-staff-feel-included-we-should-keep-having-them-even-after-offices-reopen-144097

Leave your phone at home this holiday and you'll feel better (after you feel worse): https://theconversation.com/leave-your-phone-at-home-this-holiday-and-youll-feel-better-after-you-feel-worse-121278

Forbes:
The Unbearable Lightness Of Traveling Unplugged
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicabaron/2019/08/16/the-unbearable-lightness-of-traveling-unplugged/#fa47a1b2ab13

The Independent:

Want a digital detox this Christmas? Here’s how: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/how-to-digital-detox-christmas-b1974896.html

Reuters:

Digital detox: Can taking a break from tech improve your well-being? https://www.reuters.com/article/tech-internet-detox-idUKL8N2PR28A

Evening Express: 
Digital-detox holidaymakers reconnect with real world, study suggests: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/digital-detox-holidaymakers-reconnect-with-real-world-study-suggests/

Medical Xpress: 
Study reveals the emotional journey of a digital detox while travelling: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-08-reveals-emotional-journey-digital-detox.html

Stylist: 
Holiday digital detox: This is the emotional journey you'll go through: https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/digital-detox-emotional-journey-new-research-what-happens-when-you-go-offline/286885

Yahoo:
Digital-detox holidaymakers reconnect with real world, study suggests
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/digital-detox-holidaymakers-reconnect-real-230100577.html

MSN: 
Travellers 'engaged more with locals and each other' during holiday tech detox
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/other/travellers-engaged-more-with-locals-and-each-other-during-holiday-tech-detox/ar-AAFLj1J

Daily Mail: 
'Digital detox' holidays where you ditch your phone let you enjoy your trip MORE 'because you won't be bombarded by notifications' https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7356493/Digital-detox-holidays-ditch-phone-make-enjoy-trip-more.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

Could 'digital detox' cabins be the solution to city burnout? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9925801/Could-digital-detox-cabins-solution-city-burnout.html

US News:
Unplugging From Social Media on Vacation? It's Tough at First
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-08-14/unplugging-from-social-media-on-vacation-its-tough-at-first

QZ:
The terrifying, liberating experience of traveling without your smartphone
https://qz.com/quartzy/1688013/the-liberating-experience-of-traveling-without-a-smartphone/

Psychology Today:
The Emotional Roller-Coaster of a Digital Detox Vacation
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201908/the-emotional-roller-coaster-digital-detox-vacation

Channel News Asia:
The worry, anxiety and emotional challenges of disconnecting while on holiday
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/should-i-digital-detox-on-holiday-check-email-work-how-to-cope-11815214

Thrive Global:
You Have to Disconnect to Reconnect 
https://thriveglobal.com/stories/you-have-to-disconnect-to-reconnect/

Irish Times:
Nomophobia prevents millennials from switching off
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/nomophobia-prevents-millennials-from-switching-off-1.4052278

Recent publications

Article

Aksenova, Diana , Cai, Wenjie, Gebbels, Maria (2022), Multisensory prosumption: how cooking classes shape perceptions of destinations. Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 34 (9) . pp. 3417-3439 ISSN: 0959-6119 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2021-1117).

Lai, Yi-Ling and , Cai, Wenjie (2022), Enhancing post-COVID-19 work resilience in hospitality: a micro-level crisis management framework. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Tourism and Hospitality Research ISSN: 1467-3584 (Print), 1742-9692 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/14673584221075182).

Hradecky, David , Kennell, James, Cai, Wenjie, Davidson, Rob (2022), Organizational readiness to adopt artificial intelligence in the exhibition sector in western Europe. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, International Journal of Information Management, 65: 102497 ISSN: 0268-4012 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2022.102497) NB Item availability restricted.

Jin, Haipeng and , Cai, Wenjie (2021), Understanding the smartphone usage of Chinese outbound tourists in their shopping practices. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Current Issues in Tourism ISSN: 1368-3500 (Print), 1747-7603 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2021.2014421) NB Item availability restricted.

Cai, Wenjie and , McKenna, Brad (2021), Power and resistance: digital-free tourism in a connected world. SAGE - Travel and Tourism Research Association. In: , , , . SAGE - Travel and Tourism Research Association, Journal of Travel Research ISSN: 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/00472875211061208).

Lucena, Rodrigo , Vorobjovas-Pinta, Oscar, Cai, Wenjie (2021), Introduction to gender and sexuality in tourism and hospitality. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 21 (4) . pp. 426-432 ISSN: 1467-3584 (Print), 1742-9692 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/14673584211052100) NB Item availability restricted.

Cai, Wenjie , Gebbels, Maria, Hafiz Zainal-Shukri, Wan (2021), Performing authenticity: independent Chinese travellers’ tourism dining experiences in Europe. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Tourism Management, 86: 104339 ISSN: 0261-5177 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104339) NB Item availability restricted.

Usai, Roberto , Cai, Wenjie, Wassler, Philipp (2020), A queer perspective on heteronormativity for LGBT travelers. SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Journal of Travel Research, 61 (1) . pp. 3-15 ISSN: 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287520967763).

Gebbels, Maria , Gao, Xiongbin, Cai, Wenjie (2020), Let’s not just ‘talk’ about it: reflections on women’s career development in hospitality. Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32 (11) . pp. 3623-3643 ISSN: 0959-6119 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2020-0385).

Waizenegger, Lena , McKenna, Brad, Cai, Wenjie, Bendz, Taino (2020), An affordance perspective of team collaboration and enforced working from home during COVID-19. Taylor and Francis. In: , , , . Taylor and Francis, European Journal of Information Systems, 29 (4) . pp. 429-442 ISSN: 0960-085X (Print), 1476-9344 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0960085X.2020.1800417).

Cai, Wenjie , McKenna, Brad, Wassler, Philipp, Williams, Nigel (2020), Rethinking knowledge creation in information technology and tourism. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Journal of Travel Research, 60 (6) . pp. 1377-1384 ISSN: 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287520946100).

Lamb, Yasmin , Cai, Wenjie, McKenna, Brad (2020), Exploring the complexity of the individualistic culture through social exchange in online reviews. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, International Journal of Information Management, 54: 102198 ISSN: 0268-4012 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102198).

Cai, Wenjie and , McKenna, Brad (2020), Knowledge creation in information technology and tourism research. Sage. In: , , , . Sage, Journal of Travel Research, 60 (4) . pp. 912-915 ISSN: 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287520903142).

Floros, Christina , Cai, Wenjie, McKenna, Brad, Ajeeb, Dimah (2019), Imagine being off-the-grid: millennials’ perceptions of digital-free travel. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29 (5) . pp. 751-766 ISSN: 0966-9582 (Print), 1747-7646 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2019.1675676).

Cai, Wenjie , McKenna, Brad, Waizenegger, Lena (2019), Turning it off: emotions in digital-free travel. SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Journal of Travel Research, 59 (5) . pp. 909-927 ISSN: 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287519868314).

Cai, Wenjie , Richter, Shahper, McKenna, Brad (2019), Progress on technology use in tourism. Emerald Publishing Limited. In: , , , . Emerald Publishing Limited, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 10 (4) . pp. 651-672 ISSN: 1757-9880 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-07-2018-0068).

Cai, Wenjie , Cohen, Scott A., Tribe, John (2019), Harmony rules in Chinese backpacker groups. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Annals of Tourism Research, 75 . pp. 120-130 ISSN: 0160-7383 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2018.12.010).

McKenna, Brad , Cai, Wenjie, Tuunanen, Tuure (2018), Technology enabled information services use in tourism: an ethnographic study of Chinese backpackers. Association for Information Systems. In: , , , . Association for Information Systems, Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 10 (4) . pp. 37-64 ISSN: 1943-7536 (Print), 1943-7544 (Online) (doi: https://journal.ecrc.nsysu.edu.tw/index.php/pajais/article/view/490/229).

Cai, Wenjie and , (2015), Explorer travellers and adventure tourism. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, 26 . pp. 318-319 ISSN: 1303-2917 (Print), 2156-6909 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13032917.2015.1007691).

Book section

Cai, Wenjie and , Southall, Carol (2019), Managing Sexuality for gay and lesbian parents in Heterosexual Family Holiday Spaces: Setting an agenda for research. Channel View. In: , , In: Oskaras Vorobjovas-Pinta (ed.), Gay Tourism: New Perspectives. Channel View, (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Cai, Wenjie and , (2018), Donkey friends in Europe: A mobile ethnographic study in group orientation of Chinese outbound backpackers. Springer. In: , , In: Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore, Elaine Chiao Ling Yang (eds.), Asian Youth Travellers. Springer, Singapore . pp. 79-95 . ISBN: 9789811085383 (doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-*******8539-0_5) NB Item availability restricted.

Conference proceedings

Wan Hafiz, Wan Zainal Shukri , Yen, Gan Mei, Rahijan, Abdul Wahab Mohamad, Cai, Wenjie (2021), Chinese food culture and festival: role and symbolic meaning among Hokkien millennials. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). In: , , In: Fathilah Ismail, Nur Amalina Mohamad Zaki, N Alia Fahada W Ab Rahman, Aleff Omar Shah Nordin, Akmalia Mohamad Ariff, Nurul Najwa Napatah, Siti Falindah Padlee, Sofea Cheah Azlan (eds.), Proceedings of the Global Tourism Conference 2021. Tourism Innovation and Digitalisation: A New Way in Redesigning Tourism Landscape. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 7-9 Sept 2021. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Terengganu, Malaysia (23) (1st) . pp. 85-88 . ISBN: 9789672939849 (doi: https://doi.org/10.46754/gtc.2021.11.023).

McKenna, Brad , Waizenegger, Lena, Cai, Wenjie (2020), The influence of personal and professional commitments on digitally disconnected experiences. Springer International Publishing. In: , , In: David Kreps, Taro Komukai, Gopal TV, Kaori Ishii (eds.), Human-Centric Computing in a Data-Driven Society: Proceedings of the 14th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, HCC14 2020, Tokyo, Japan. Springer International Publishing, , 590 (1st) . pp. 305-314 . ISBN: 9783030628024ISSN: 1868-4238 (Print), 1868-422X (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62803-1_24).

Cai, Wenjie and , Southall, Carol (2019), Gay parents in heterosexual family holiday space. Digital Commons @ TRU Library. In: , , , Critical Tourism Studies Proceedings. Digital Commons @ TRU Library, , 2019 (1) . ISBN: 9780991687121 (doi: https://digitalcommons.library.tru.ca/cts-proceedings/vol2019/iss1/77).

Gebbels, Maria , Cai, Wenjie, Gao, Xiongbin (2019), Gender issues in tourism and hospitality organisations: how to bridge the gap between gender awareness and organisational support?. Digital Commons @ TRU Library. In: , , , Critical Tourism Studies Proceedings. Digital Commons @ TRU Library, , 2019 (1) . pp. 62 . ISBN: 9780991687121 (doi: https://digitalcommons.library.tru.ca/cts-proceedings/vol2019/iss1/62/).

McKenna, Brad and , Cai, Wenjie (2019), Where is ‘tourism and technology’ research in the information systems discipline?. Digital Commons @ TRU Library. In: , , , Critical Tourism Studies Proceedings. Digital Commons @ TRU Library, , 2019 (1) . pp. 31 . ISBN: 9780991687121 (doi: https://digitalcommons.library.tru.ca/cts-proceedings/vol2019/iss1/31/).

Zeng, Xiaoxiao , McKenna, Brad, Richter, Shahper, Cai, Wenjie (2019), How social media can afford engagement processes. Springer Nature Switzerland. In: , , In: Marinos Themistocleous, Paulo Rupino da Cunha (eds.), Information Systems: 15th European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Conference, EMCIS 2018, Limassol, Cyprus, October 4-5, 2018, Proceedings. Springer Nature Switzerland, , 341 (1st) . pp. 272-279 . ISBN: 9783030113940ISSN: 1865-1348 (Print), 1865-1356 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11395-7_23).

Vodanovich, Shahper , McKenna, Brad, Cai, Wenjie (2017), Cultural values inherent in the design of social media platforms: A case study of WeChat. University of Maribor Press. In: , , , 30th Bled eConference Digital Transformation – From Connecting Things to Transforming Our Lives (Conference Proceedings). University of Maribor Press, . pp. 617-628 . ISBN: 9789612860431 (doi: https://doi.org/10.18690/978-961-286-043-1).

McKenna, Brad , Cai, Wenjie, Tuunanen, Tuure (2017), Consumer information services in intercultural tourism: An ethnographic study of Chinese outbound backpackers. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). In: , , , Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), . pp. 1237-1246 . ISBN: 9780998133102 (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2017.148).

Cai, Wenjie and , (2016), Conceptualising three-layer cultural system in mobilities: A mobile ethnographic study of Chinese outbound backpackers in Europe. Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. In: , , , 8th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure. Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, Turkey . pp. 207-211 . ISBN: 9786056576232 (doi: ).

Cai, Wenjie and , McKenna, Brad (2016), Consumer information technologies in intercultural tourism: a case study of Chinese outbound backpackers. Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. In: , , , 4th Interdisciplinary Tourism Research Conference. Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, . pp. 508-514 . ISBN: 9786056576232ISSN: 1303-2917 (Print), 2156-6909 (Online) (doi: ).