Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1521-1536.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106014

• Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial effects of knowledge-intensive business services clustering on tourism innovation in urban aggolomerations

FANG Yuanping1,2(), BI Doudou3, CHEN Hongyang4, PENG Ting2   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. School of Tourism Management, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3. Department of Tourism Management, South China University Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
    4. China Telecom Hongxin Information Technology Co., Ltd, Nanjing 210029, China
  • Received:2020-03-03 Revised:2020-12-19 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41471106);Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province(2020A1515010835);Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province(2021A1515012248);Project for 13th Five-Year Plan of Philosophy and Social Sciences in Guangdong Province(GD19CYJ17)


Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), as a key component of the national innovation system (NIS), has become a crucial driving factor for the regional tourism innovation. Despite ever-increasing overlapping and interaction between tourism and KIBS, there was little literature on the relations of KIBS clustering and regional tourism innovation. In this paper, the authors measured the clustering level of KIBS and total factor productivity (TFP) of regional tourism innovation in China's three mega-city regions (MCR), namely, the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), the Pearl River Delta (PRD), and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) urban agglomeration, using the methods of location quotient and data envelopment analysis. Then, the authors examined the spatial distribution and cluster mode of regional tourism innovation TFP in the three MCRs using the spatial data analysis method (ESDA). Finally, the authors evaluated the impact and spatial effect of KIBS clustering, among other factors, on regional tourism innovation on the basis of the panel data (from 2005 to 2015) and Spatial Panel Durbin Model (SPDM). The results show that: (1) KIBS in all the three MCRs show high levels of clustering, though the intensity of clustering exhibits a descending pattern from the PRD, to the YRD, and to the BTH. KIBS clustering mainly takes place in municipalities directly under the central government and first-tier cities to the provincial capitals, with significant regional differences among different cities in these MCRs. (2) The regional tourism innovation TFPs in the three MCRs from high to low are the YRD (1.006), the PRD (0.978), and the BTH (0.960), and the changes in TFP are mainly due to technological advancement. (3) Among the three MCRs, only the YRD shows a significant level of spatial clustering of regional tourism innovation on a global scale, while there have been certain signs of spatial clustering in each of the three MCRs on a local scale. However, different MCRs show different spatial clustering patterns: spatial clustering in most cities in the YRD is in the high-low type, while that in most cities in the PRD and BTH region is in the high-low and low-high types. (4) Despite variations from region to region, KIBS clustering has a positive effect on the level of regional tourism innovation. There have been effects of spatial spillover in all the three MCRs, however, it is necessary to set good examples and create favorable conditions for neighbouring cities. (5) An open policy system and well-paced marketization have a promoting effect on regional tourism innovation TFP. The optimization of industrial structure and improvement in digitalization also plays a positive role in regional tourism innovation, which is the result of multiple innovation factors.

Key words: knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), tourism innovation, urban agglomeration, total factor productivity, spatial panel Durbin model, spatial spillover effect