PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 817-824.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.06.019

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis on the Features and Causes of Seasonality in Rural Tourism: A Case Study of Beijing Suburbs

MAShihan, DAI Linlin, WU Bihu   

  1. Center for Recreation and Tourism Research, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2011-10-01 Revised:2012-01-01 Online:2012-06-25 Published:2012-06-25

Abstract: As one of the most distinctive features of tourism, seasonality has long been recognized and studied by tourism researchers worldwide. The first part of the paper did a comprehensive review of the relative domestic and international research on this topic. In recent years, rural tourism has been spreading quickly in Beijing suburb, which gradually becomes one of the hotspots of urban recreation destinations in Beijing. However, the destination is suffering from the sereve fluctuation of tourist flows throughout the year. Hence this paper takes the rural tourism in Beijing suburbs as a case study, aiming to find out the seasonality features and their influencing factors, as well as possible measures to overcome it. Based on the monthly tourist data series over the period 2008-2010, the study first used Seasonal Ratios combined with K-means non-hierarchical cluster analysis to obtain the seasonal pattern of Beijing suburban tourism, in which 12 months could be classified into 3 seasons: peak season (April to May, July to August, October), low season (November to January) and normal season (all the rest), and the months in respective seasonal partitions are extracted as well. The paper then explored the influencing factors of the seasonality in two aspects: natural factors and social factors. Results show that natural elements (mainly geographic features and climatic factors) greatly affect the behavior of rural travelers, especially in winter; however it is still not the leading role in seasonality, whereas social factors including public holidays, social traditions, and festivals & events play a more important role. After analyzing the seasonality feature and the distribution of national holidays throughout the year, the paper indicated a close correlation between these two elements. In conclusion, the paper found out that public holiday (with low flexibility) and festival & events (with high flexibility) are the predominant factors that affect the seasonality pattern in Beijing suburban tourism.

Key words: Beijing suburbs, causes, rural tourism, tourism seasonality