Professor Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan

Professor of Tourism Management
Director of China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit
Undergraduate/Graduate Convenor for Tourism and Hospitality Management

Qualifications: BSc (Econ) (Hons) London, PGCE Leicester, MEd Nottingham, MPhil Nottingham Trent, PhD Aston

Personal Website:

About Chris

Professor Chris Ryan undertakes research in the field of tourism, and has developed research interests in China in the last two decades, including contractual work with Chinese partners such as Beijing Union University, Sun Yat-sen University and others. He has also undertaken reports for the United Nations World Tourism Organization in China, is editor of Tourism Critiques: Practice and Theory, and for 25 years was editor of Tourism Management and took it to its current position as the leading tourism research journal. He also founded Tourism Management Perspectives, which is also a SSCI cited journal.  Tourism Critiques is fully Plan S compliant.

As a researcher, according to Google Scholar Citations, he has over 27,000 citations and has an h-index of 79.  He has authored or co-authored approximately 220 refereed journal articles and 14 books, the latest of which is Advanced Tourist Destination Management (Edward, Elgar, 2020).

He has worked with various organisations including the Terracotta Warriors Museum and the Fuxi Mausoleum in China. Within New Zealand he has completed work for Tourism New Zealand, the former Ministry of Tourism and subsequently the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tourism Auckland, Tourism Waikato and individual private sector organisations.

His research interests include tourist behaviours and the consequences of those behaviours in terms of impacts - social, psychological and environmental; and the business organisations that shape those tourist experiences. He has also established a UNWTO research base studying Raglan under the INSTO programme ( Details on the China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit can be found at:

His position at Waikato is partly funded by Beijing Union University as co-partners in the BUU China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit.   He was noted by PLOS 1 as being one of the top 0.5 % of global researchers.

He has successfully guided  more than 30 students through their doctoral degree programmes and many now occupy senior  university positions as professors, heads of faculty and research centres.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

In total, thus far, Chris has supervised successfully over 30 doctoral candidates, of whom, in May 2021,  4 hold full professorial positions,  5 hold Associate Professor positions, 2 hold a Dean's position (one after being a tourism minister), others hold academic positions or are in industry, and one holds a librarian's positions.  They work in China, Kenya, Macau, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Oman, Malaysia, and Taiwan. One has even retired and grows walnuts commercially after an academic career. In addition, Chris has supervised numerous Master's dissertations, some of whom went on to become his doctoral students.  Their work generally applies psychometrics, mixed methods, qualitative methods and statistical analysis.

Current research  activities (2021) include work on heritage tourism in China, and post-Covid work relating  to Maori  attractions and domestic tourism within China. With Associate  Professor  Zhang  Xiaoyu  he holds advisory research positions in Huaiyang and  Beijing and with Professor  Li Fangxuan and Associate Professor Li Ping an advisory position  at the University of Hainan. He also engaged in research on behalf of Hamilton Airport with under-and post-graduate students (Covid levels permitting).

Research Interests

Chris is interested in tourist behaviours, motivations and the social, environmental and economic consequences of those behaviours with a specific interest in China and cutlural differences. He utilises both quantative and qualitative techniques including discriminate analysis, SEM, regressions etc and textual analysis software.

Recent Publications

  • Gao, J., Ryan, C., Zhang, C., & Cui, J. (2022). The evolution of Chinese border tourism policies: an intergovernmental perspective on border tourism in Xishuangbanna. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 27(2), 157-172. doi:10.1080/10941665.2021.2020313

  • Zhang, X., Ryan, C., Zhang, G., & Wan, Y. (2022). The Fuxi Taihao Mausoleum: sustaining cultural tradition. Tourism Recreation Research, online, 19 pages. doi:10.1080/02508281.2022.2028083

  • Zhang, X., & Ryan, C. (2022). Cultural or Film Tourism? An analysis comparing Hobbiton (New Zealand) and Daguanyuan (China). International Marketing Journal of Culture and Tourism, 1, 63-95.

  • Ghaderi, Z., Michael Hall, M. C., & Ryan, C. (2022). Overtourism, residents and Iranian rural villages: Voices from a developing country. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 37. doi:10.1016/j.jort.2022.100487

Find more research publications by Chris Ryan

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: MSB.4.17
Phone: +64 7 838 4259