JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1797-1806.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190901

• National Park and Protected Areas •     Next Articles

Tourism or recreation? Rethink the expression of the public use in Chinese national parks

ZHANG Chao-zhi1,2, CAO Jing-yin1, LUO Yi-lin1   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. SYSU-UIUC International Joint Lab for National Park Research, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2019-02-21 Revised:2019-06-25 Online:2019-09-28 Published:2019-09-28

Abstract: The National Park System pilot practiced in China has arose numerous discussion about the policy and the practice of national park management in China's context, however, tourism becomes one of the most controversial topics in national parks establishment, whether it is possible to develop tourism in national park, or what kind of "tourism" could be approved in national park, or we should use the term "tourism" or "recreation" in national park context. Based on the analysis of the connotation of "tourism" and "recreation", combined with the corresponding expressions in international national parks, this article discusses "recreation" and "tourism" in national parks within the context of China. The findings indicate that "recreation" is the other side of tourism. "Recreation" is appropriate for the functional positioning and planning of parks which reflects the public welfare goals of national parks. However, in the specific operation and management of national parks, it is more appropriate to use the term "ecotourism". When we talk about the contradiction between tourism and national parks, the use of "tourism development" is more in line with the facts.

Key words: national parks, ecotourism, tourism, recreation, expression