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University of Minnesota Extension

Xinyi (Lisa) Qian


Director and state specialist



University of Minnesota
433 Coffey Hall
1420 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108


Contact me for help with:

  • Collaborations and partnerships with the Tourism Center
  • Conducting applied research related to tourism, outdoor recreation, and hospitality
  • Agritourism
  • Community tourism development
  • Festivals and events management


  • Ph.D. and M.S., Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
  • Bachelor of Management, Tourism Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Work experience

Xinyi Qian, Ph.D. has been the director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center since December 2021. She was the interim director from January to November 2021 and tourism specialist from June 2013 to December 2020. As the director, Dr. Qian oversees the Center's strategic directions, manages the Center's operation, actively engages the advisory committee, builds and maintains relationships with strategic partners and industry sectors, works with development officers to ensure the Center's fiscal sustainability, interacts with faculty affiliates, and oversees the Center's communications, media, and social media strategies and work.

As the state specialist, Dr. Qian conducts applied research on a variety of tourism-related topics, including visitor and festival/event attendee behavior research, active transportation, recreational travel demand, sustainable tourism, among others. Dr. Qian is also the lead instructor of the Festival and Event Management online course, an educational program that builds essential knowledge for successfully managing and sustaining an event.

Prior to joining the Tourism Center, Dr. Qian was a research associate in the Department of Forest Resources at University of Minnesota. Dr. Qian received her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management from Pennsylvania State University.

Affiliations, honors and community service

  • Vice Chair, National Extension Tourism Network
  • Research Scholar, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota
  • Advisor, Minnesota Festival and Event Association
  • Member, Travel and Tourism Research Association

Selected publications

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