PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (10): 1381-1391.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.10.008

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Coupling coordination between tourism competitiveness and economic development in global poverty-stricken countries and spatiotemporal changes

Danli LIU, Xia WANG*, Xiaogen WU, Jing HE, Zhiyong DUAN   

  1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2017-12-14 Revised:2018-04-26 Online:2018-10-28 Published:2018-10-28
  • Contact: Xia WANG
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41871134, No.41371149;Youth Expert Training Program of National Tourism Administration, No. TYEPT201422


With the increasing importance of tourism industry in the global economic development, tourism has become a significant growth point for poor countries. To strengthen the understanding of the actual state of coupling and coordination between tourism competitiveness and economic development in these countries, and to further understand the development of the coupling coordination degree and regional differences between tourism and economy development in poor countries around the world, we conducted the study of this article. First, based on the multidimensional poverty index of the United Nations, the World Economic Forum's tourism competitiveness report, and the per capita GDP data of the poor countries provided by International Monetary Fund, an evaluation index system of tourism competitiveness and economic development was constructed. Next, we calculated the weights and comprehensive evaluation index values through the information entropy method, and then used the coupling coordination model to measure the coupling coordination degree between tourism competitiveness and economic development in global poverty-stricken countries during 2008-2017, and clarified its spatiotemporal evolution to explore the genesis mechanism. On case selection, this study first ranked the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (TTCR)'s 141 economies in 2015 according to the multidimensional poverty index of the Human Development Report 2015. Then countries that lack tourism competitiveness indices such as Niger, South Sudan, and Somalia were eliminated. Only 35 poverty-stricken countries with high poverty index rankings and complete data on tourism competitiveness were reserved for our research. The study area mainly focused on Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, and the specific years of research are 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. The results indicate that: (1) There is a high correlation between tourism competitiveness and economic development in poor countries and the current situation of coupling coordination is not optimistic, as most poor countries are in a state of imbalance or near mismatch. However, there is a tendency toward the coordinated direction, and regional differences in coupling coordination among these countries are slowly shrinking; (2) The coupling coordination between the two can be divided into four levels and two types of constraints. Most of the poor countries are economically lagging. The rest of them are tourism-economy synchronous, and no poor countries are tourism competitiveness lagging; (3) The hierarchical distribution of the coupling coordination in poor countries shows clear spatial clustering characteristics. The level of coupling coordination in Africa is relatively low. The coupling coordination status is relatively good in South America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia shows partial heterogeneity. In general, this research is based on the coupled relationship between tourism competitiveness and economic development in poor countries. It can provide a decision-making basis for future economic structural adjustment and tourism industry development in these countries, and provide references for other countries around the world. At the same time, this article responds positively to the tourism poverty alleviation policies that China strongly advocates, and provides theoretical support for the country's economic cooperation and tourism poverty reduction practices along the "Belt and Road" route.

Key words: tourism competitiveness, economic development, coupling analysis, spatiotemporal change, poverty-stricken countries