PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 679-690.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.06.002

• Special Column: Ecocivilization and Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progresses and prospects of ecotourism research in China

ZHONG Linsheng1(),MA Xiangyuan1,2,ZENG Yuxi1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2016-06-28 Published:2016-06-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171435


Since the first introduction of the concept to China in 1992, as an important part of tourism research, ecotourism studies have made a number of progresses, ranging from theoretical discussion to practical implementation, and continuously provided professional guidance to tourism markets and given rise to the great progress of ecotourism development in China. At present, given the public attention on ecological civilization construction, further demands are made of ecotourism research. This article uses a systematic review method and search results from all Chinese core journals database to examine the research progress of ecotourism. We selected 1493 papers published in 1992 to 2015 and analyzed the following six aspects of Chinese ecotourism research: ecotourism theory, ecotourism resources, ecotourism market, ecotourism development, ecotourism functions and effects, and management and policy. This article aims to clarify the diverse development periods from the introduction of ecotourism concepts to the mushrooming of local ecotourism practices, and provide an overview of Chinese ecotourism. The article concludes with the prospects of ecotourism research topics in China, including theoretical framework of ecotourism, ecotourism impact measurement and management, ecotourism models and strategies, ecotourism resource management, ecotourism market and tourist behavior, environmental education and interpretation, assessment and optimization of community participation, ecological civilization construction and ecotourism, and so on.

Key words: China, ecotourism, research progress, prospect