PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (8): 1364-1377.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.08.002

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Influence of high-level scenic spots on tourism development and its spatial effect

GONG Qinlin1(), ZOU Donghan1, ZHOU Yi1, ZHU Shengjun2,*()   

  1. 1. School of Economics, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
    2. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2022-02-18 Revised:2022-04-25 Online:2022-08-28 Published:2022-10-25
  • Contact: ZHU Shengjun;
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(20BJL088);National Development and Reform Commission(18GFGZ017);"Double First-Class" Initiative Project of Sichuan University(SCJJ-07)


Building high-quality tourist clusters and creating multi-site scenic tour routes and loops are important breakthroughs in promoting the development of global tourism. Based on the data of "5A" scenic spots—the highest-level scenic spots—selected from 288 prefecture-level cities in China from 2006 to 2018, this study divided these sites into three categories: natural, humanistic, and comprehensive. With the help of ArcGIS and Stata, this study explored the spatial distribution characteristics of the "5A" scenic spots and quantitatively analyzed the impact and spatial effects of high-level scenic spots on tourism development of cities by using a dynamic spatial panel model. The study found that: First, "5A" scenic spots distribution showed spatial imbalance, agglomerated mainly in the eastern and central regions. Resource endowments differ great across regions, and the number of comprehensive scenic spots is seriously insufficient. Second, high-level scenic spots can significantly promote the development of tourism in cities, and have significant effects of spatial cooperation and spatial competition. Specifically, high-level scenic spots in adjacent cities of the same province have a spatial competitive effect on the cities' tourism development, and the main competition range is 0-400 km; while high-level scenic spots in adjacent cities across provinces have a spatial cooperation effect on the cities' tourism development, and the optimal cooperation range is 200-400 km. In the meantime, competition mainly occurs between the same type of scenic spots, and cooperation mainly occurs between different types of scenic spots. Finally, comparing the spatial distribution of scenic spots within each province, this study found that the scenic spots in the same province are mainly natural or humanistic "5A" scenic spots, which means that there may be competition between similar scenic spots within the same province due to their homogeneity. The conclusions of this research provide empirical evidence for the spatial allocation and spatial optimization of tourism resources.

Key words: high-level scenic spots, tourism development of cities, spatial competition, spatial cooperation, China