JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2015, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 50-64.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2015.01.005

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Multi-Criteria Similarity and Spatial Cluster of Provincial Tourism Economic Development in China

SUN Xiao-dong, FENG Xue-gang   

  1. School of Business, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2013-05-30 Revised:2013-11-05 Online:2015-01-20 Published:2015-01-20
  • Contact: 冯学钢(1962-),男,安徽巢湖人,院长,博士,教授,博士生导师,研究方向为旅游经济与服务管理

Abstract: Due to different tourism resources, economy development, geographical locations, cultural backgrounds and infrastructure conditions, Chinese regional tourism economic shows a quite different development pattern. Based on single evaluation index, a large amount of literature has explored the spatiotemporal differences of Chinese tourism development. However, few studies, from multiple criteria prospects, have discussed issues of regional difference and provincial similarity of development of Chinese tourism economy. Firstly, taking four indicators, including number of internal tourist, number of inbound tourist, internal tourism income, foreign exchange income, as aggregate criterion, the other two indicators, including percentage of the total tourism income accounted for the GDP and percentage of the tourism employment accounted for the total employment in each province, as efficiency criterion, this paper establishes a combined multi-criteria index to measure the similarity of provincial tourism development in China. Then, based on the derived similarity degrees, a neighbor-searching clustering algorithm is applied to cluster the 31 provinces in China. Based on data of the six indicators from 2000 and 2010 respectively, the spatiotemporal cluster results are explored and compared. The results show that, provinces with higher tourism development level usually have lower average similarities to other provinces, which, to some extent, reflects a"polarization phenomenon" in development of Chinese tourism economy. Although tourism development at the provincial level has significant differences, when considering the six major economic indicators some provinces have high similarity degrees. Spatial cluster shows the pattern of coastal provinces, inland provinces and west provinces, which doesn't strictly follow the geographical adjacent location distribution. Comparison of the studies on 2000 and 2010 data shows that, with great development nationwide, tourism development in China presents a more balanced clustering results; the middle, the west and the remote provinces have a significantly reduced average in-class similarity degrees from 2000 to 2010, which reports the phenomenon that through utilization of unique tourism resources, these provinces promoted their tourism economy in different modes.

CLC Number: 

  • F592.99