PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2007, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (1): 133-142.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2007.01.014

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

Scientific Prospect of Fractal Theory Applied to the Network Space of Tourism System

ZHU Xiaohua1, WU En2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101|
    2. College of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100081
  • Received:2006-04-01 Revised:2006-10-01 Online:2007-02-20 Published:2007-02-20


Fractal world is constructed by the invisible hands of nature. Coastline, mountain ridges, faults, river basins, and etc. are fractal objects. Human beings select to stay in the beautiful places, so the natural and man- made integrated objects are formed gradually. Then the network space of tourism system is formed accordingly. Mandelbrot stated the uncertainty of the coastline length in his paper "How long is the coast of Britain? Statistical self- similarity and fractional dimension”published in "Science"in 1967. The concepts of fractal and fractal dimension were presented for the first time in that paper and have been applied to quantitatively describe the difference of crooked coastlines of British and South Africa. Based on extensive and thorough observation of a large amount of geographical, geological and economic phenomena, Mandelbrot discovered an inherent character in nature that he called fractal, and he also considered the fractal dimension as a quantitative parameter to describe numerous irregular phenomena in nature. As a new tool to picture the complexity of nature, the fractal theory has been widely used in many fields. Compared with the Euclidean geometry of more than two thousand years of history, fractal and fractal dimension are fitter for describing various complicated objects in nature. The fractal theory has been applied to many fields, which has actually constituted a scientific field with a broad frontier called Fractal. At present, it becomes a field with vast potential for use and application in many disciplines. And no doubt it also provides new analytical capability and scope to the innovation of tourism study. As to the study of tourism, researches on the fractal characteristics and fractal dimensions of the network space of tourism system have not been attempted till now. In this paper , the scientific significance and research aspects are prospected. As a case study of Beijing, the fractal proof is provided in terms of the network space of tourism system. It is useful to advance the theory level of China tourism science.

Key words: fractal, fractal dimension, network space, prospect, tourism system

CLC Number: 

  • P91