Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (1): 96-106.doi: 10.11821/xb200201011

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The Evolvement of Spatial Structure and the Significance of Guilin's Domestic Tourist Origins

BAO Ji-gang, ZHENG Hai-yan, DAI Guang-quan   

  1. Center for Tourism Planning & Research, Zhongshan University. Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2001-07-04 Revised:2001-11-18 Online:2002-01-25 Published:2002-01-25
  • Supported by:

    Key Project of Ministry of Education, No. 00101


This paper uses the first-hand data of 1987 and 1999 to analyze the spatial evolvement of Guilin's domestic tourist origins of the years concerned. It is revealed that the number of tourists increased steadily after 1980, while the 1980s were the golden era of Guilin's domestic tourism development. The spatial concentration index (SCI) of tourist origins indicates a drop of 12% from 1987's 43.50 to 1999's 38.27, which means that after 12 years, Guilin's tourist origins have expanded and have become more stable, while the spatial distribution has become less concentrated. Taking into account the increment percentage of tourists from each tourist origin, the paper develops a formula to calculate the attraction radius (AR) of tourist destination (TD) revised from the formula of standard distance given by Stephen Smith (1989). Using the railway distance between Guilin and the capital city of each province as the mean of the traveling distance from each region, the paper shows that Guilin's AR raised by 40.84% from 1987's 568.12 km to 1999's 800.14 km. From the view of macroeconomics, we consider the following as the possible reasons for the drop of Guilin's SCI and the rise of its AR: firstly, as a long-established tourist destination, Guilin's word-of-mouth reputation played a very important role in attracting tourists. Secondly, the rapid increase of living standard and the practice of long weekends/vacations has brought China to a golden era of domestic tourism where more people travel more frequently than before. Thirdly, the social and economic development in areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, has made it possible for Guilin to attract more tourists from them. As a result, the spatial distribution of Guilin's domestic tourists origins has developed a pattern that is different from the law of distance decay. Fourthly, the degree of increment in a tourist origin is mainly due to two factors--spatial distance and the level of economic development. A place near a tourist destination may have a low increment of market share because of its low level of economic development. A place far from a tourist destination may have a high increment of market share because of its high level of economic development. The intervening opportunity is probably the fundamental factor to analyze this phenomenon. According to the conclusion, the paper proposes some guidelines for Guilin's tourism marketing. Finally, the paper discusses briefly the difference of evolvement in the domestic tourist markets between Guilin and Huangshan.

Key words: domestic tourists market, evolvement of spatial structure, Guilin, tourist origins