JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (7): 1556-1569.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20200704

• Special Forum of "Tourism Resources and National Strategy" • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The process and mechanism of tourism resources evaluation: From technical evaluation to the social construction perspective

BAO Ji-gang1,2, CHEN Yuan-yi2,3, MA Ling4   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. Center for Tourism Planning and Research, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    3. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    4. School of Geographical Science, Research Center for Human Geography and Urban Development, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2020-01-07 Revised:2020-03-13 Online:2020-07-28 Published:2020-07-28

Abstract: Tourism resources are the most essential factor in tourism development. Therefore, making rational evaluation and developing valuable potential tourism resources are important foundations. In the late 1950s, geographers and forestry scholars began to be involved in regional tourism resources evaluation. Physical properties and attributes of tourism resources were considered as fundamental factors and taxonomy when evaluated. In order to make the result more scientific, quantitative methods were applied gradually. In the 1970s, addressing the need of tourism planning and destination development, scholars in China and abroad adopted qualitative methods to evaluate tourism resources. Since the 1980s, with the fast growth of tourism market, the scholars have paid more attention to the demand of tourists. Tourism scholars have introduced the perspective of tourist experience as well as a holistic perspective, including nature, humans, aesthetics and other standards, to evaluate the attractiveness of tourism resources. In the 21st century, with the turn of social theory in tourism research, the evaluation of tourism resources began to lay more stress on the importance and the role of discourse and socialization process in tourism development. Tourism scholars and practitioners have used the term of tourism attraction rather than tourism resources to place emphasis on their social and symbolic attributes. Social value and cultural meanings were transmitted to tourism attraction. On the other hand, tourists could receive the meanings through the visit and consumption in the attractions. This paper reviews the process of tourism resources research at home and abroad chronologically, to reveal how the methods, perspectives and theories of tourism resources evaluation evolved from the 1970s to nowadays. It puts forward that the evaluation of tourism resources in the future will show more concern about their practicability and sustainability, tourists' needs and experiences. Moreover, the economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological values are as fundamental as the former aspects. Finally, the new technology, such as the application of 5G, will help raise efficiency of tourism evaluation as well as its visualization.

Key words: tourism resource, technical evaluation, social construction, experience, tourism attraction