PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (8): 1284-1297.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.08.003

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Tourism eco-efficiency at the provincial level in China in the context of energy conservation and emission reduction

GUO Lijia1(), LI Chang1, PENG Hongsong1,*(), ZHONG Shi'en1, ZHANG Jinhe2, YU Hu3   

  1. 1. School of Business Administration, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210046, China
    2. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2020-12-01 Revised:2021-01-10 Online:2021-08-28 Published:2021-10-28
  • Contact: PENG Hongsong;
  • Supported by:
    Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801129);Youth Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences of Education Ministry(18YJC790124);The 16th Batch of "Six Talent Peaks" High Level Talent Selection and Training Project in Jiangsu Province(2019-YJ-020);Research and Innovation Program for Postgraduates in Jiangsu Province(KYCX20_1371)


The study on the evaluation and spatial pattern of tourism eco-efficiency is an important basis for revealing the quality and state of tourism development at the provincial level in China. Based on a bottom-up approach to calculate tourism energy consumption and carbon emissions at the provincial level in China, this study used the Super-SBM (slacks-based measure) model, Malmquist index, and exploratory spatial data analysis to explore the spatial differentiation, convergence, and correlation patterns of tourism eco-efficiency at the provincial level in China in the context of energy conservation and emission reduction. The results show that: 1) Tourism energy consumption and carbon emissions generally show an inverted U-shaped trend that first increases and then decreases, which supports the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis. 2) The overall tourism eco-efficiency shows a fluctuating growth trend, and has great growth potential. Pure technical efficiency drives the optimized development of eco-efficiency. 3) At the provincial and regional scales, tourism eco-efficiency presents a spatial differentiation pattern, but tends to convergence and reach balanced development. 4) Tourism eco-efficiency presents a positive spatial correlation pattern from strong to weak, and its development model is dominated by low-low agglomeration, followed by low-high agglomeration, and the spatial agglomeration model needs to be optimized. All provinces and regions should take the areas with higher eco-efficiency as the benchmark, and realize the coordinated development of tourism with high quality by means of factor flow, scale effect, technological progress, and environmental regulation.

Key words: tourism eco-efficiency evaluation, spatial differentiation, spatial convergence, spatial correlation, energy conservation and emission reduction, provinces of China