top of page
Image by Benny Liu

Featured Publications

Digital Wellbeing

I am interested in investigating the dark side of technology, and propose a more balanced lifestyle with digital technology. I have published several studies exploring digital detox in the tourism context. In the past few years, I also spoke on media to advocate the benefit of digital detox. I am also conducting several projects exploring the long-lasting impacts of digital detox.

A Happy Family

Featured Publications

Usai, R., Cai, W., & Wassler, P. (2020). A queer perspective on heteronormativity for LGBT travelers. Journal of Travel Research.
Gebbels, M., Gao, X., & Cai, W. (2020). Let’s not just “talk” about it: reflections on women’s career development in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
Cai, W., Southall, C. (2021) Managing Sexuality for gay and lesbian parents in Heterosexual Family Holiday Spaces: Setting an agenda for research. In: Vorobjovas-Pinta, Oskaras, (ed.) Gay Tourism: New Perspectives. Channel View. (In Press)

Social Inclusion

I am a firm believer in equality and inclusion. I believe it is our duties to engage with continuous debates in these issues and transform the societal norms and organisational practices. My current studies mainly focus on women's opportunities in the hospitality workplace and LGBT travellers through a sociological and critical lens.

Image by Elisa Calvet B.

Featured Publications

Cai, W., McKenna, B., Wassler, P., & Williams, N. (2020). Rethinking knowledge creation in Information Technology and Tourism. Journal of Travel Research.
Cai, W., & McKenna, B. (2020). Knowledge creation in information technology and tourism research. Journal of Travel Research.
McKenna, B., & Cai, W. (2019). Where Is ‘Tourism and Technology’Research in the Information Systems Discipline?. Critical Tourism Studies Proceedings, 2019(1), 31.

Knowledge Creation in IT&Tourism

We critique knowledge creation in IT&Tourism. In these studies, we suggest broadening the field of IT&Tourism studies by pushing paradigmatic boundaries and go beyond the applied studies. To flourish as a field, IT & Tourism research must engage more with theoretical and methodological advancements, alongside knowledge dissemination practices.


Featured Publications

Cai, W., Richter, S., McKenna, B. (2019) Progress on Technology Use in Tourism, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 10(4), 651-672.
McKenna, B., Cai, W., Tuunanen, T. (2018) Technology Enabled Information Services Use in Tourism: An Ethnographic Study of Chinese Backpackers. Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 10(4), 37-64. 
Lamb, Y., Cai, W., & McKenna, B. (2020). Exploring the complexity of the individualistic culture through social exchange in online reviews. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102198.
Waizenegger, L., McKenna, B., Cai, W., & Bendz, T. (2020). An affordance perspective of team collaboration and enforced working from home during COVID-19. European Journal of Information Systems, 29(4), 429-442.

Technology use

I am interested in exploring how people use technologies in the context of tourism and beyond. In these studies, I focus on the perspectives of cultural influences and features of material affordances. Through these lenses, these studies provide explanatory insights into the complex factors that influence and enable technology use.


Featured Publications

Cai, W., Cohen, S. A, Tribe, J. (2019) Harmony rules in Chinese Backpacker Groups, Annals of Tourism Research, 75, 120-130.
Cai, W. (2018) Donkey friends in Europe: A mobile ethnographic study in group orientation of Chinese outbound backpackers. In Asian Youth Travellers (pp. 79-95). Springer, Singapore.
Cai, W. (2017). Revisiting the theory and practice of the three-layer system of culture: An exploration of Chinese backpackers' travel experiences in Europe. University of Surrey (PhD Thesis).

Tourist Behaviour

I am interested in researching tourist behaviour. My PhD thesis explores Chinese outbound backpackers in Europe. In my PhD, I conducted mobile ethnography by travelling with three groups of Chinese backpackers to investigate their unique characteristics and experiences, which is strongly influenced by Chinese Confucious culture, western backpacker culture and current Chinese tourists' practices.


Featured Publications

Cai, W., McKenna, B., & Waizenegger, L. (2020). Turning it off: Emotions in digital-free travel. Journal of Travel Research, 59(5), 909-927.
Floros, C., Cai, W., McKenna, B., & Ajeeb, D. (2019) Imagine being off-the-grid: Millennials' Perceptions of Digital-Free Travel, Journal of Sustainable Tourism.
McKenna, B., Waizenegger, L., & Cai, W. (2020). The influence of personal and professional commitments on digitally disconnected experiences. In IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (pp. 305-314). Springer, Cham.
bottom of page