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Sustainability in Chinese development tourism policies

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 01:08 authored by Xu, H, Sofield, T
Following the 'Open Door' policy of 1978 that accepted tourism as an appropriate sector for development in China for the first time since 1949, national and local governments have issued policies to promote tourism. Over the past two decades, the continuing development of tourism has occurred as China has started to move towards sustainability in its national policies. Although sustainability is often stated as the purpose of development, and tourism development strategies are regarded as more environmentally oriented than other industries, little guidance is provided to make sure that sustainability principles are followed. To examine this situation, sustainability components in the two types of tourism policies are examined, including 56 tourism development policies by the state councils and 31 provinces since the 1980s. These indicate a mixed result. While sustainability is an important component in some of these policies, the meaning of sustainability in the tourism sector is confusing and pro-business tourism development still plays a dominant role. It is suggested a pro-active sustainability approach should be integrated with environmental concerns in the future to allow tourism to participate constructively in the national transformation to a sustainable society.


Publication title

Current Issues in Tourism









Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Taylor and Francis

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Tourism services not elsewhere classified

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