Original Articles

Concentration on Problems within Spatial Pattern of Tourist Flow in the Way of Critical Thinking

  • School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 China

Online published: 2009-09-25


Tourist flow is a basic question of tourism geography. Examinations on spatial patterns of tourist flow have long been a hot issue since the 1950s. This article classifies the spatial patterns of tourist flow into three basic theories, i.e., concentric zone theory, centre-periphery theory, spatial diffusion theory, based on literature review. Then, six main issues existing in tourism studies are revealed with critical thinking with the aim to deepen the construction of tourist flow from theoretical perspective. (1) There exists confusion between “regional perspective” for tourist flow and “individual tourists perspective” for individual tourists. (2) A phenomenon of “dual trap” dissevers the intrinsic relationship between tourist origin and tourist destination. (3) One-way  arbitrary  specification,  i.e. , regions  are  specified functioning absolutely as tourist origins or as tourist destinations. So it contradicts the known facts that regions have double functions attracting tourists while emitting tourist flow to some extent. (4) Intra-regional  tourist  flow and  inter-regional  tourist  flow, which have different connotations and meanings, have not been scientifically analyzed. (5) Diagnoses of basic pointing types and quantitative measurement of directional bias are also absent. (6) Spatial diffusion of tourist flow is weaker than the foreign countries, especially for multi-destination travel.

Cite this article

ZHONG Shien, ZHANG Jie, REN Lixiu, LI Qian,DONG Xuewang, LI Ming . Concentration on Problems within Spatial Pattern of Tourist Flow in the Way of Critical Thinking[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2009 , 28(5) : 705 -712 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.05.008


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