PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (5): 569-584.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.05.005

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Research on negative impacts and responsibility of cruise tourism

Xiaodong SUN(), Yating HOU   

  1. School of Business Administration, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2016-09-01 Online:2017-05-20 Published:2017-05-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.71572057, No.71202134;Tourism Young Expert Training Program of China National Tourism Administration, No.TYETP201522;Shanghai Municipal Government Decision-making Consulting Project, No.2016-Z-J01-B, No.2016-GR-14


In recent years, the cruise industry has become one of the most dynamic, rapidly developing and profitable segments in the global tourism and hospitality industry, with millions of passengers each year. China has become one of the most attractive emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Cruise tourism has significant economic impacts on port cities and relevant tourism regions, outputting remarkable employment opportunities and total revenue. However, the development of the cruising sector also brings negative economic, environmental, and social and cultural impacts on cruise destinations and local communities. With the fast development of the Chinese cruise industry, influences of cruise tourism will become far-reaching. It is critical for the Chinese cruise industry to better understand impacts of cruise tourism, particularly the negative side. However, this issue is neglected by the Chinese academic community. Using a sustainable and responsible tourism lens, the purpose of the current article is to systematically examine the negative impacts of cruise tourism by comprehensively reviewing international studies in relation to externalities of cruise tourism. Accordingly, a model or framework of responsible cruise tourism, consisting of governments, non-profit organizations, local communities, cruise passengers, and the cruise industry, is proposed. This article is an attempt to stimulate more attentions from Chinese researchers to the sustainability and responsibility of cruise tourism.

Key words: cruise tourism, cruise industry, negative impacts, sustainability, responsibility