Table of Content

    30 September 2017, Volume 8 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Ecotourism in China
    Ecotourism Development in China: Achievements, Problems and Strategies
    ZHONG Linsheng, LIU Limin
    2017, 8 (5):  441-448.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.001
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (317KB) ( )   Save
    Since the 1990s, ecotourism has developed rapidly and been an important and distinctive part of the tourism industry in China. Based on an analysis of the current development status and problems of Chinese ecotourism, this paper puts forward the development goals and strategies for ecotourism in the future. In addition, it tries to provide some suggestions for Chinese ecotourism development. It is proposed that the main path for making China a competitive country for ecotourism is to form a comprehensive system including public services, resources conservation, environmental education, policies and regulations, eco-certification, marketing promotion, community participation, technology and talent by constructing ecotourism cooperation areas, destinations, ecotour routes and ecological scenic roads.
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    A Review of Green Development in the Tourism Industry
    TANG Chengcai, ZHENG Qianqian, QIN Nana, SUN Yan, WANG Shushu, FENG Ling
    2017, 8 (5):  449-459.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.002
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    Green development has become an important concept and an effective way to sustainably develop the tourism industry. Studying tourism green development promotes the construction of regional ecological civilizations and sustainable development. We systematically reviewed research on green development in the tourism industry and divided this body of work it into two stages: a germination exploration stage under the concept of sustainable development; and initial development under the green development concept. In addition, some important green development research methods, conceptualization and connotation of green development, an index system of green development evaluation to measure efficiency and influencing factors, green development models, and regulations and standards of enterprise green development countermeasures are discussed. This review affirms China’s positive exploration and reference meaning to developing countries, and finds that the majority of research is qualitative; quantitative analyses are limited and a relevant theoretical system has not yet formed. Future research should deepen the content, enrich research methods and construct a theoretical system.
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    Quantitative Study on the Evolution of Ecotourism Policy Development in China
    XIAO Lianlian, ZHONG Linsheng
    2017, 8 (5):  460-469.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.003
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    It is widely recognized that the complexity of ecotourism development requires understanding of interrelated factors that influence outcomes and achievements. For this reason, public sectors are increasingly interested in designing policies as driving forces of ecotourism development and exploring policy effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to describe evolutionary characteristics of Chinese ecotourism development and reveal the relationship between policy evolution and ecotourism development. A series of statistical analyses is conducted to explore evolvement characteristics and prospects of Chinese ecotourism policies. Ninety-one sample documents issued by the central government and its departments from 1994 to 2016 are obtained to analyze policy number and content structure, policy intensity, policy tools, and participation of department in policy making. Results show: (1) policy evolution reflects the change of objectives, contents and patterns in Chinese ecotourism development; (2) ecotourism policies stably evolved and adjusted to environmental change, and ecological conservation was core content in policies under a growing number and breadth of policies; (3) ecotourism policy tools transformed from micro-regulation to macro-control, but are not yet systematic; (4) the number of departments involved in policy design continues to increase and the value of policy intensity is rising. In the context of ecological civilization construction and implementation of Tourism Law, macro-control and micro-autonomy is the trend of future ecotourism policies; criteria system improvement may be important tools to regulate ecotourism development; cross-department coordination will act as a guarantee for designing and implementing policies; and welfare of stakeholders, behavioral regulation of tourists and business, and patterns of ecotourism development will be the subject of future policy.
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    Ecotourism Development Evaluation and Measures for Forest Parks in China
    XIANG Baohui
    2017, 8 (5):  470-477.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.004
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    Forest parks are one of the important kinds of destinations for the development of ecotourism in China. Based on the principles of ecotourism, an evaluation index system of ecotourism development in forest parks was established. This paper uses data from investigations in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China to evaluate and analyze the ecotourism development of China’s forest parks. In order to promote the sustainable development of ecotourism in forest parks, the paper suggests a number of measures, such as promoting the integration of the tourism industry and related industries, exploring folklore tourism products, planning an environmental interpretation system, perfecting the infrastructure and service facilities system in line with the principles of ecology, building an environmental monitoring system, setting up a reasonable mechanism for community participation, strengthening capital investment and investment management, and paying attention to the cultivation of professional talent for ecotourism. These measures can be used as references and guides to the development and construction of ecotourism in forest parks in China.
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    Influence Factors and Development Model of Regional Ecotourism Cooperation in China
    YU Hu, ZHONG Linsheng
    2017, 8 (5):  478-484.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.005
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    Regional ecotourism cooperation provides an institutional guarantee that brings together ecological resources development, protection of natural ecologies and regional economic growth, and also is one of the keys to improve the level of China’s ecotourism development. China’s administrative regions are divided by large areas of natural geography, such as vast tracts of land, mountainous areas and bodies of water. Given the structure of China’s administrative system, administrative areas make independent and uncoordinated decisions concerning the use of ecological resources, resulting in low-level ecotourism products and redundant construction projects undertaken by local governments, limiting the further improvement of China's ecotourism level. Therefore, it is necessary to construct a spatial system and a model of regional ecotourism cooperation in line with China's national conditions. This paper adopts an inductive deductive method analyze systematically the connotations and obstacles of China’s regional ecotourism cooperation, and proposes space development and cooperative model. Research shows that the inescapable choice is cross-regional ecotourism cooperation based on natural zonality, cultural similarity, coordinated regional economic development and policy integration. The key existing obstacles include administrative barriers, lack of motivation to cooperate and loose cooperation patterns. Future regional ecotourism cooperation should define the thematic function area, cooperation zones, scenic roads and ecotourist routes, to establish the cross-regional integration development system and realize systematic optimization. This study is of theoretical value for the development of regional ecotourism cooperation and the construction of spatial systems in China.
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    Rural Ecotourism: An Effective Way of Maintaining Indigenous Character in Rapidly Urbanizing Rural Areas: A Case Study of Five Golden Flowers in Chengdu, China
    LI Lu, ZHANG Yujun
    2017, 8 (5):  485-493.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.006
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    China is the largest developing country in the world and a well-known agricultural country. China’s urbanization is a subject of great interest, one that has attracted the attention of people throughout the world. Whereas a handful of studies have assessed various aspects of urbanization (urban expansion, urban transition, urban-rural relationships, the spatial changes in urban and rural areas, motivations for sustaining rural places), little is known of how to retain the indigenous character of rural areas in terms of landscape design. In this paper, the authors set out to contribute to this significant gap. They used Chengdu City and Five Golden Flowers (FGF) village in Chengdu’s suburbs as case studies. A detailed description of the application of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City vision in Chengdu City was made; the Garden City vision was the key premise for FGF’s ecotourism industry and successful conservation of landscapes with indigenous character. An analysis of the post-ecotourism landscape in FGF was accomplished using a typology method. Finally a set of landscape design methods for retaining indigenous character was proposed. The main conclusion of this paper was as follows: rural ecotourism can contribute to maintaining the indigenous character of rapidly urbanizing rural landscapes with the use of appropriate inheritance and renovation ways. The findings here may provide useful information for decision making by urban planners and policy-makers.
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    Flow Experience Study of Eco-tourists: A Case Study of Hunan Daweishan Mountain Ski Area
    ZHENG Qunming, TANG Rong, MO Ting, DUAN Nijing, LIU Jia
    2017, 8 (5):  494-501.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.007
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    Mountain skiing has become a popular winter ecotourism activity in China. Studying the loyalty of eco-tourists from the perspective of tourist experience is important to the continued development of mountain ski tourism. Based on the flow experience theory, we developed and tested a structural equation model to examine relationships among flow experience, positive emotions and the loyalty of eco-tourists. Survey data from 324 eco-tourists with skiing experience at Daweishan Mountain Ski Resort was used for exploratory factor, confirmatory factor and path analyses. Results revealed five dimensions of flow experiences of eco-tourists: Concentration on task at hand, Loss of self-consciousness, Transformation of time, Autotelic experience, and Challenge-skill balance. As hypothesized, influences of Transformation of time, Autotelic experience and Challenge-skill balance on positive emotions were significant and positive. Concentration on task at hand, Autotelic experience, Challenge-skill balance and positive emotions positively influenced the loyalty of eco-tourists. Suggestions for developing ecotourism products are discussed such as designing a conductive environment to activate flow experience, providing personalized service to promote positive emotion, and developing experiential tourism activities.

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    Impact of Tourist Environmental Awareness on Environmental Friendly Behaviors: A Case Study from Qinghai Lake, China
    ZENG Yuxi, ZHONG Linsheng
    2017, 8 (5):  502-513.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.008
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    This paper examines the influence environmental awareness and recreation experience has on the environmentally-friendly behavior of tourists, and identifies the function of perceived quality as an intermediary variable. By providing a conceptual framework based on the combination of environmental awareness theory and tourist perception theory, and a SEM-based methodology, an in-depth analysis of the influence mechanism was carried out in the Qinghai Lake area of Qinghai province. Results show that there exist differences in the ways environmental awareness influences perceived gains and perceived losses, and the influence coefficient of the former is higher than that of the latter. The perceived gains may promote environmentally friendly behaviors, while the perceived losses have an adverse impact on such behaviors. Moreover, the strength of the adverse impact of the latter is less than the strength of the positive impact of the former. The mediating effect of perceived quality was confirmed in the EA (environmental awareness)-EB (environmental behavior) nexus, within which the influence of tourist environmental awareness on environmentally friendly behavior could be transformed. The mediating effect of perceived quality in the perceived-gains model was more obvious than that in the perceived-losses model. This study highlights the importance of understanding the foundations of environmental behavior related to environmental awareness and tourist perceptions.

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    Ecosystem Assessment
    Research Progress in Ecological Carrying Capacity:Implications, Assessment Methods and Current Focus
    XUE Qian, SONG Wei, ZHANG Yili, MOU Fengyun
    2017, 8 (5):  514-525.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.009
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    In recent years, rapid global urbanization accompanied by rapid economic growth has resulted in increasingly serious eco-environmental problems such as land degradation and pollution. As a society, we are gradually realizing the role of environmental protection and ecologically-focused construction in promoting sustainable development. As an important method for assessing sustainable development, ecological carrying capacity (ECC) has become a powerful tool for investigating sustainable development and assessing eco-environmental problems. Based on results from a large number of previous studies in this discipline, we summarized and generalized the implications, main assessment methods, and key research domains of ECC. Deficiencies and future trends in ECC research are identified. In terms of implications, ECC can be roughly defined into the perspectives of environmental change, human effects on ecological systems, and holistic ecological systems. The primary assessment methods and models can be classified in accordance with these three perspectives, including ecological footprint method, ecosystem-services-based method, net primary productivity method, situation space method, energetic ecological footprint model, system dynamics model, and coupling model. We compared the advantages and disadvantage of different methods and analyzed their applicable conditions. As ECC research has advanced, related studies have gradually extend to land systems, watershed systems, ecologically vulnerable areas, tourism systems, and urban comprehensive systems, which have solved relevant eco-environmental problems based on ECC assessments. Currently, ECC research lacks a standard definition for the ECC index threshold, research related to dynamic monitoring and early warning, sufficient consideration of scientific and technological drivers, and spatial pattern analyses. Future trends in ECC-related research should provide a large-scale assessment of cross-border areas and ecological vulnerable areas, construct an ecological warning platform, and consistently analyze ECC and regional leading industries.
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    Assessment of Terrestrial Ecosystem Sensitivity and Vulnerability in Tibet
    LI Yuanzheng, HAN Fengsen, ZHOU Hongxuan
    2017, 8 (5):  526-537.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.010
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    The Tibetan Plateau serves an important shelter function for the ecological security of Asia, and especially China. Here, we proposed and improved indicators and methods for assessing the ecological sensitivity and vulnerability of the terrestrial alpine Plateau ecosystems and assessed the freeze-thaw erosion, land desertification, water-caused soil loss, and land salinization sensitivity, together with ecological vulnerability, from the overall ecological sensitivity, ecological pressure, and elasticity aspects in Tibet. The results indicate that the terrestrial ecosystem of Tibet is quite sensitive to freeze-thaw erosion, land desertification and water-caused soil loss. Extremely and highly sensitive regions account for 9.62% and 83.69%, respectively, of the total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Extremely and highly vulnerable areas account for 0.09% and 52.61%, respectively, primarily distributed in the Himalayan and Gangdise mountain regions in west Tibet; the Nyainqentanglha, Tanggula, Hoh Xil, and Kunlun mountain regions; and the northwest and northern regions of the Changtang Plateau. The results will aid the development of customized protection schedules according to different ecological issues in each region.
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    Effects of Thinning Intensity on Carbon Stocks and Changes in Larch Forests in China Northeast Forest Region
    LI Shuyong, LI Shenggong, HUANG Mei
    2017, 8 (5):  538-544.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.011
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    Thinning represents an important and frequently used silvicultural technique that improves forest wood products and has obvious effects on forest carbon stocks and stock changes. Here, we used the carbon budget model CBM-CFS3 to simulate the effects of thinning on carbon storage and changes in larch forest ecosystems under thirteen thinning scenarios. Simulation results demonstrate that strong thinning greatly reduces the biomass carbon density of larch forests compared to non-thinning forests. The minimum and maximum average biomass carbon density, respectively, were 30.3 tC ha-1 and 47.8 tC ha-1, a difference of 58% under set scenarios in the simulated time scale. The dead organic matter (including soil) carbon density increased in all thinned larch forests stands, compared with non-thinning stands, and the pattern of variation was opposite to that found for biomass carbon density. However, the total ecosystem carbon density of larch forests declined with thinning because the increase in dead organic matter carbon is insufficient to offset the loss of biomass carbon caused by thinning. Thus, strong thinning can transform larch forest ecosystems from carbon sinks into carbon sources. Future work should consider the carbon sequestered in wood materials acquired via thinning and their use as substitutes for other construction materials with less favorable lifecycle carbon footprints, such as steel, cement, aluminum and PVC.
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    Ecosystem Monitoring
    Combining Decision Trees with Angle Indices to Identify Mangrove Forest at Shenzhen Bay, China
    LIU Chunyan, GUO Hongqin, ZHANG Xuehong, CHEN Jian
    2017, 8 (5):  545-549.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.05.012
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    Mangroves are woody plant communities in the intertidal zone of tropical and subtropical coasts that play an important role in these zones. The infrared wave band is one of the key bands in the remote sensing identification of mangrove forest, and ALI (advanced land imagery) has a large number of infrared bands. Two angle indices were proposed based on liquid water absorption at band 5p and band 5 of EO-1 ALI, denoted as β1.25 and β1.65 respectively. A decision tree method was adopted to identify mangrove forest using remote sensing techniques for β1.25-β1.65 and NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) for EO-1 ALI imagery acquired at Shenzhen Bay. The results showed that the reflectance of mangrove forests at band 5p and band 5 was significantly lower than that of terrestrial vegetation due to the characteristics of coastal wetlands of mangrove forests. This resulted in a greater β1.25-β1.65 value for mangrove forest than terrestrial vegetation. The decision tree method using β1.25-β1.65 and NDVI effectively identifies mangrove forest from other land cover categories. The misclassification and leakage rates were 4.29% and 5.11% respectively. ALI sensors with many infrared bands could play an important role in discriminating mangrove forest.
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    Intronducing of Editorial Board Member
    LIU Shirong, Associate Editor-in-Chief
    2017, 8 (5):  550-550. 
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