Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (6): 1059-1074.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201606012

• Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial evolution progress of tourism destination based on theory of complex adaptive system: A case of southern Anhui

Zhongyuan YANG1(), Jiangang XU2(), Wei LIN1   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2015-07-06 Revised:2016-03-17 Online:2016-06-30 Published:2016-06-30
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.51278239]


According to the complex adaptive system theory, the tourism destination can be regarded as a complex adaptive system which is composed of multiple adaptive agent interactions based on the complex adaptive system theory, and it consists of agent system, tourist attraction subsystem, tourist service facility subsystem and external environment system. This article, taking southern Anhui as a test case, discusses the spatial evolution. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) The period 1979-1990 was a formation stage of spatial aggregation, during which the tourist attraction was gradually exploited and aggregated. Additionally, the scenic area of Mounts Huangshan and Jiuhuashan became the core attraction, and the agglomeration around the area began to appear. (2) The period 1991-2000 was a growth stage of spatial aggregation, during which the scenic area of Mounts Huangshan and Jiuhuashan expanded and the tourism facility improved, so the spatial aggregation began to grow. At the same time, the scenic area of Xidi and Hongcun developed quickly, thus a new spatial aggregation emerged. (3) Since 2001, we have entered a blowout-development stage of spatial agglomeration. As the adaptive agent of system, government, enterprise, resident, non-governmental organizations and tourists, they achieved nonlinear interactions with the environment system and each other, which formed new tourist elements of the diversification of tourist demand, diverse tourist attraction and rapid development of expressway and others. The combination of new elements and traditional elements gave birth to diverse tourist product, such as cultural tourism, holiday tourism, rural tourism. It improves spatial evolution of the area of southern Anhui. In the future, the diversification of tourism demand will promote the diversification and global use of tourism resource. The main development will be focused on leisure vacation travel with culture, ecology, rural characteristics. Meanwhile, the construction of high-speed transport network, including railway and highway, will strengthen the communication between southern Anhui and the Yangtze River Delta. As a result, the area of southern Anhui will be taken into the tourism development of the Yangtze River Delta region, and also become an important part of the Yangtze River Delta by global tourism.

Key words: complex adaptive system, evolution model, tourism destination spatial structure, space aggregation, southern Anhui