The market forecast plays a key role in tourism decision-making. However, due to lack of historical data, it remains an unsolved problem for the tourist market forecast of destinations which are not yet open to the public. Shanghai Disneyland has attracted wide attention for its huge investment and profound influence. With its forthcoming development, it is imperative to carry out a theoretical research in this field.
The existing tourism gravity model is presented with three main explanatory variables: attractiveness of tourist destination, emissiveness of tourist origin, and spatial damping between the destination and origin. This paper makes modifications on the model as follows: (1) It introduces tourist rate which aims at replacing total population with tourist population to measure the tourist scale and accurately determine its base quota. (2) It introduces the element of tourist willingness, which is measured and estimated by using Baidu Index to clarify the preference for tourism destination. Thus, the scope of applying gravity model is not solely confined within the large and medium-scale tourist destinations (namely, cities, provinces and countries). The modified gravity model can also be applicable to the small-scale tourist destinations (namely, scenic spots). Likewise, it will avoid the interference of intervening opportunity. Furthermore, there is no significant correlation between any two variables in the modified model.
Based on statistics of mainland tourists to Hong Kong Disneyland and socioeconomic statistics of China's provinces and municipalities from 2009 to 2013, this paper forecasts the spatial structure of domestic tourist market of Shanghai Disneyland through the modified gravity model. The research shows that: (1) Disneyland's strong brand effect drives tourists to overcome obstacles, so the impact brought about by spatial damping is reduced to some degree; as a whole, tourism demand of mainland tourists for Disneyland is inelastic. (2) The spatial distribution of domestic tourist market of Shanghai Disneyland remains strongly concentrated in neighboring regions accoding to the distance-decay theory. It is also mainly concentrated in eastern region and major cities driven by level of socioeconomic development. Based on the forecast of this paper, the Yangtze River Delta region is expected to account for 71.45% of the domestic market share, and China's eastern region occupies 82.40%, 39 major cities 41.44%. (3) Through verification, the coincident degree between the theoretical value deduced from the modified tourism gravity model and the actual value is better than that between the theoretical value deduced from the existing model and the actual value. Accordingly, the newly modified tourism gravity model proves to be more effective than the existing model.