Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (8): 1013-1024.doi: 10.11821/xb201008012

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The Characteristics and Dynamical Factors of Chinese Inbound Tourist Flow Network

LIU Fajian1, ZHANG Jie1, CHEN Dongdong2   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Anhui Broadcasting Movie and Television College, Hefei 230022, China
  • Received:2009-09-11 Revised:2010-05-13 Online:2010-08-20 Published:2010-08-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China,No.40371030; No.40801054


Tourist flows could be taken as inherent relations among destinations. It is necessary and feasible to analyze the inbound tourist flows from the view of network, and that would be more theoretical and practical significance to tourist flow study. This paper not only defines the notion of tourist flows network in theory, discusses its significance, but constructs an assessment model of tourist flows network, and uses characterization, density, E-I indictor, centralization, cohesive subgroup and core-periphery, which are from the Social Network Analysis, into the analysis of Chinese inbound tourist flow network as well. Then this paper tries to find out the dynamical factors on tourist flows among provinces by using QAP regression and correlation, which are stemmed from SNA too and better than OLS analysis to some extent in matrix analysis. It is concluded that the inbound tourist flow scale presents a decreasing trend from the Eastern, the Western, the Northeast, to the Midland of China. The whole network is loosely organized and unbalanced. Some eastern provinces not only possess higher centralization and structural dominance, but also closely connect with each other. Furthermore some western provinces have become more important in network, and the regional imbalance of inbound tourist flow network has been narrowing. The natural tourism resource, provincial economic position, foreign relation and spatial distance are major constraints to inbound tourist flows, and the numbers of international travel agencies and flights which are representatives of high quality service and top grade, whether they are in the same region or not, contribute to the tourist flow. By doing all of these, this paper aims at offering a new method for inbound tourist flow research and assisting the formulation of tourism policies at national and provincial levels.

Key words: Chinese inbound tourism, tourist flow network, social network analysis, QAP analysis