Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2022, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (1): 142-160.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2022.01.016

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Ecological Theory and Practice in Tourism Research in the New Era

SUN Yehong1,2,3,*(), YAO Cancan1, CHEN Yuexin4, SONG Yuxin4, WANG Ying5   

  1. 1. Tourism College of Beijing Union University, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Culture and Tourism Research Base of Beijing Union University, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4. College of Arts and Science of Beijing Union University, Beijing 100083, China
    5. Institute of Rural Development, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
  • Received:2021-08-02 Accepted:2021-10-20 Online:2022-01-30 Published:2022-01-08
  • Contact: SUN Yehong
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971264);The Premium Funding Project for Academic Human Resources Development in Beijing Union University(Baijie04)


With the development of tourism, the number of tourists and the scope of tourism activities are increasing, and the impact of tourism on the ecological environment is gradually revealed. The ecological environment is the foundation of sustainable tourism development. Some tourist destinations lack systematic and scientific evaluation and the proper planning of tourism resources, which makes it difficult for local areas to cope with the influx of a large number of people. In these destinations, the internal system is perturbed by a series of disturbances, which leads to bad effects on the local ecological environment. In addition to endangering the development of tourism, the quality of life of local residents is also threatened. Consequently, the issues between tourism and environment have become a hot topic in the field of tourism research. Through the collection of domestic and foreign tourism literature related to ecological theories since 1990 to 2020, the status of the application of various ecological theories in the field of tourism is revealed, such as life cycle theory, landscape ecology theory, carrying capacity theory, biodiversity, ecological niche theory and ecological footprint theory. This analysis found that the application of these theories to tourism mainly focuses on empirical research, and there are few studies on the basic theories related to it. In the empirical research, innovation of the research methods is basically absent. Therefore, future research should pay more attention to the theoretical research of ecological theory in the field of tourism, and combine modern science and technology in the practical application to strengthen the innovation of research methods. In addition, the prospect of applying ecological theories in future tourism research is discussed.

Key words: tourism research, ecological theory, research progress