GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 830-840.doi: 10.11821/yj2010050007

• Culture and Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Synthetic assessing model for the analysis of spatial disparity of tourism ecological loads in China

YANG Jian-ming   

  1. College of Geographical Sciences and Tourism, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2009-07-18 Revised:2010-03-07 Online:2010-05-20 Published:2010-05-20


After World War Ⅱ, the rapid expansion of tourism industry around the world has put forward a new proposition for tourism researchers to study tourism environmental impact. However, review of previous studies indicates that most researchers have committed to the microcosmic analyses. Few investigators are interested in regional comparative studies. In order to reveal the relationship between human and nature involved in tourism activities, this paper has presented a new concept, namely tourism ecological load. Through analysis of the factors concerning tourist pressure, tourist traffic load and invasion of tourist infrastructure, 6 indicators including population density, tourist density, passenger cars per 1000 residents, road net density, tourist bed density, as well as tourism forest load were selected and calculated for establishing a synthetic assessing model. On this basis, the regional disparity of tourism ecological loads in China have been analyzed. The results show that, of the 31 provincial-level administrative districts in China, the tourism ecological loads in coastal areas are generally greater than those in inland areas, and they are generally greater in southeastern part than in northwestern part. At present, the highest tourism ecological loads occur in the central part of eastern coastal China such as municipalities of Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It was suggested therefore in this paper that in the above mentioned three municipalities the further tourism exploitation should be properly restricted. The second highest tourism ecological loads take place mainly in Chongqing Municipality and provinces of Guangdong, Shandong, Henan. In these areas the conflict between tourism development and eco-environmental protection has become increasingly prominent, thus only sound environmental management can promote continual prosperity of the tourism industry. The remaining districts show moderate or relatively weak tourism ecological loads. It has been proposed that some preventive measures should be considered in the tourism planning in these regions. In order to guarantee the sustainable tourism development in China, it is important to strengthen the researches on tourism ecological loads of various spatial dimensions, to enhance common consciousness of environmental protection for ordinary people, and to take rational tourism development strategies and environmental protection measures, considering that the further expansion of tourist industry in China will be inevitable.

Key words: tourism ecological loads, spatial disparity, synthetic assessing model, China