PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (8): 1349-1363.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.08.001

• Articles •     Next Articles

Spatial pattern change of the network structure of China's inter-provincial virtual tourism flow

YANG Yong(), SUI Xiayun(), LIU Zhen   

  1. School of Business Administration, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2021-12-01 Revised:2022-02-24 Online:2022-08-28 Published:2022-10-25
  • Contact: SUI Xiayun E-mail:yyang@tour.ecnu.edu.cn;sui_xiayun@163.com
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(18BGL144)

Abstract:

Virtual tourism flow (VTF) to some extent represents geographic biases of tourist demands. It is a crucial entry point for analyzing the spatial structure of China's tourism and promoting the formation of domestic circulation. From the perspective of VTF, this study built models of virtual tourism attraction and latent emissiveness using Baidu index search data from 2016 to 2020. Coefficient of variation and spatial autocorrelation were employed to analyze its spatial distribution characteristics. Virtual tourism dominance degree and correlation of each provincial node were analyzed to further investigate the characteristics of the spatial change of VTF network structure. The results show that: 1) Beijing, Shanghai, and Yunnan are the radiating centers in the spatial structure of China's VTF. Based on this, a virtual spatial structure with the core of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Yunnan-Guizhou-Sichuan-Chongqing region is formed. 2) The polarization and diffusion features of VTF are manifested in the obvious diffusion effect of the Yangtze River Delta, and the significant polarization effect of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and areas to its south and the Yunnan-Guizhou-Sichuan-Chongqing region. Among them, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and areas to its south has changed from a dual core to a single core structure, while the Yunnan-Guizhou-Sichuan-Chongqing region has formed a robust regional circulation structure with multiple cores and multiple levels due to the region's continuously strengthened internal and external ties. 3) According to the spatial change of VTF network structure, intra-regional circulation is an effective way to balance the development of tourism within and outside a region. Meanwhile, provinces with strong virtual tourism advantage degree have stronger resilience, which can well boost the circulation of inter-regional tourism flow. 4) The change of VTF network structure is mainly affected by economic development level, tourism resource endowment, infrastructure development, and temporal and spatial proximity. This study broadens the horizon of tourism flow research by introducing the concept of VTF and analyzing both virtual tourism attraction and latent emissiveness. Its results provide a reference for the geographic direction of tourist demands, which can help to promote the coordinated regional development of tourism.

Key words: virtual tourism flow, network structure, spatiotemporal analysis, tourism attraction, latent emissiveness