Tourism geography research in China: institutional perspectives on community tourism development

Honggang Xu, Chaozhi Zhang, Alan A. Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The explosive growth of tourism in China since the 1980s has generated attendant interest in tourism research in the country, among researchers both in the mainland and outside. The dialogue between the two communities (domestic and international researchers) is also growing, but is as yet still limited, with insufficient contributions from Chinese mainland tourism researchers to the international academic world. China provides a rich field for examining the cultural, social and institutional context in which tourism develops. Recent studies of village-based community tourism development in China, with an emphasis on institutional perspectives, provide some insight on the dynamic and complex changes of rural communities along with tourism development. In general, these papers show that village participation in decision making is growing, although examples of disempowerment are as rife as those of growing empowerment. Contested resources are one of the most influential factors in this struggle, along with the rapid growth of tourism that the country has experienced since the 1980s. The papers in this special collection also demonstrate the distinct character of domestic tourism research in China, which engages the rich body of literature published in Chinese, but is generally less connected to broader international debates in the predominantly Anglo-American English publishing realm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-716
Number of pages6
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014


  • China
  • community empowerment
  • community tourism
  • institutions
  • resource ownership
  • tourism development
  • tourism research
  • village tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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