ECOTOURISM ›› 2021, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (3): 332-348.doi: 10.12342/zgstly.20210061

• Special Issue: Theoretical Frontiers and Academic Innovation of Rural Tourism Research in the New Era • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on the characteristics and mechanism of rural social restructuring driven by tourism: A Case study of Guzhu Village in Huzhou

LI Tianyu1,2(), LU Lin1,*(), ZHANG Xiaoyao1,3   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-05-30 Revised:2021-06-15 Online:2021-06-28 Published:2021-08-30
  • Contact: LU Lin;


Rural tourism is an important driving force to promote rural restructuring. As the ultimate goal of rural restructuring, rural social restructuring is an important content of rural restructuring research. This study took Guzhu Village, a typical tourist village in Huzhou City, as a case site, and analyzed the characteristics of rural social restructuring from the perspective of rural residents. This study also constructed a theoretical model of rural social restructuring mechanism driven by tourism using grounded theoretical methods. The results show that: (1) The development of rural tourism has changed the original identity of rural residents. Rural residents have changed their identities from farmers and migrant workers to tourism operators, so that their social identities have been changed. (2) The development of rural tourism has brought a large number of migrants into the countryside. The pattern of rural social relations has gradually changed from a "differential pattern" to a "multiple pattern", so that the social relations have been reconstructed. (3) The development of rural tourism has changed the relationship between rural residents and rural environment, and the village has been transformed from a traditional rural community to a tourist service community, so that social space has been reconstructed. (4) The intervention of tourism elements is the most important driving force for restructuring the tourism rural society. The six aspects including rural economic restructuring, rural spatial restructuring, resource environment drive, tourism market drive, policy system drive, and the participation of actors constitute the rural area spatial carrier, material basis, support mechanism, guidance mechanism, promotion/restraint mechanism, and engine mechanism of social restructuring, respectively. The mutual influence and dynamic coupling of each mechanism jointly promote the restructuring of rural society.

Key words: rural tourism, rural social restructuring, grounded theory, Guzhu Village in Huzhou