PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (9): 1186-1200.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.09.003

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Characteristics and prospects of Chinese rural tourism research, 1992-2016:An analysis based on CiteSpace maps

Chuanyan AN1,2(), Tongsheng LI1,*(), Zhouyan ZHAI1, Qiang FU2,3   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. College of Tourism, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 475003, Henan, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2017-11-03 Revised:2018-03-04 Online:2018-09-28 Published:2018-09-28
  • Contact: Tongsheng LI;


Based on research articles selected from the core journals and the Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index (CSSCI) journals in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) academic journal network publishing database and with the help of CiteSpace software, this study analyzed the authors, cooperative institutions, and keywords on China's rural tourism research literature published between 1992 and 2016 and found that China's rural tourism research has not formed close research teams and scholars have low recognition of each other's work. Research cooperation networks are loosely organized between academic institutions. The whole process of research can be divided into four stages: emerging stage (1992-1998), preliminary diversification stage (1999-2005), rapid diversification stage (2006-2012), and in-depth study stage (2013-present). With regard to the research contents, policy guidance is clear—the research topics closely followed the national policy change and showed diversity. The research focused on the economics of tourism from the beginning and there exists a large number of research articles on development strategies and models. The researchers have been insisting on ecological ideas all the time. Overall, economics, sociology, geography, agronomy, and many other disciplines have been involved in this field. The main value proposition changed from the consumer to the whole population, showing the trend of comprehensive humanistic care in rural tourism research. Moreover, in recent years, the researchers have introspected and actively exercised the discourse power to participate in the real business of rural tourism. According to the actual situation of development of rural tourism in China and its research characteristics, multidisciplinary, multi-technological, and multi-organizational studies will be carried out in view of rural tourism problems and more research on the philosophical foundation, basic concepts, and basic theories of rural tourism, transformation and upgrading of rural tourism, land use in the development of rural tourism, social and spatial questions of rural tourism in the context of the new urbanization in China, and development strategies of rural tourism diversity will become the key points of future research.

Key words: rural tourism, research characteristics, evolution of research topics, CiteSpace 5.0, China