Nature-based tourism resources privatization in China: A system dynamic analysis of opportunities and risks

Xiang Huang Louis, Jigang Bao, Alana Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Local governments in China have begun to lease scenic areas to private enterprises to fund their development as tourist attractions. The terms of the leases are for 25 to 30 years, and sometimes more. The privatization of nature-based tourism resources presents both opportunities and risks for governments and the sites being leased. Based on data collected from three case studies, and using a dynamic system modelling methodology, we identify the relationship trajectories among the major stakeholders (i.e., local government, local communities and private enterprises) in nature-based tourism resources. Four system dynamic models are proposed to explain the mechanism of natural area privatization through lease agreements and their impacts on stakeholders and nature-based tourism resources. The analysis shows that there is an ideal relationship that can sustainably support all stakeholders and the natural resource base. However, corrupt relationships will have a major negative impact on all of the stakeholders, and can threaten the nature-based resource, leading to the failure of the privatization effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • China
  • Lease agreements
  • Nature reserves
  • Nature-based tourism
  • Privatization
  • System dynamic model
  • Tourism resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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