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Personal profile


Zheng (Chris) Cao is Lecturer in Economics at Aston Business School. He joined the school in September 2018. Prior to that, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at University of Surrey and a research assistant at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

Chris’ expertise lies in tourism economics, economic development, economic impact analysis and globalisation. He has extensive experience in applied economics research and has been involved in a number of externally funded projects, including ‘Analysis and forecast of socio-economic impact of Clean Sky’, ‘Economic impact of Watts Gallery’, ‘Economic impact and travel patterns of accessible tourism in Europe’ and ‘The economic effects of visa regulations on the demand for China’s tourism’.

Chris has published a number of articles in top-tier internationally refereed journals, including Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, and International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Research Interests

Tourism economics
Economic development
Economic impact analysis

Teaching Activity

Undergraduate Modules
BS1196 Principles of Macroeconomics
BS2240 Business Economics


Ph.D. in Tourism Economics, University of Surrey
M.Sc. in Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
B.Econ. in Finance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University


09/2018 - present: Lecturer, Aston Business School, Aston University
11/2015 - 09/2018: Research Fellow, University of Surrey
09/2009 - 11/2011: Research Assistant, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA)
International Association of Tourism Economics (IATE)
Royal Economic Society (RES)
Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS)

Contact Details

Phone Number: +44 (0) 121 204 3607
Email: z.cao1@aston.ac.uk
Room: SW906


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Applied Economics
  • HD28 Management. Industrial Management
  • GV Recreation Leisure

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Research Output

  • 6 Article
  • 2 Review article
  • 1 Meeting abstract

Antecedents and Outcomes of Emotional Labour in Hospitality and Tourism: A Meta-Analysis

Xu, S., Cao, Z. & Huo, Y., Aug 2020, In : Tourism Management. 79, 104099.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Scenario Forecasting for Global Tourism

    Wu, D. C., Cao, Z., Wen, L. & Song, H., 4 Jun 2020, In : Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Antecedents and Outcomes of Work-Nonwork Conflict in Hospitality: A Meta-Analysis

    Xu, S. & Cao, Z., 14 Oct 2019, In : International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 31, 10, p. 3919-3942 24 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Tourism and Economic Globalization: An Emerging Research Agenda

    Song, H., Li, G. & Cao, Z., 1 Nov 2018, In : Journal of Travel Research. 57, 8, p. 999-1011

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access