Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (8): 2032-2047.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202108015

• Transportation and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution and dynamic characteristics of tourism destination complex system from the perspective of nonlinearity: A case study of Shanghai

ZHAO Zan1,2(), LU Lin1(), REN Yisheng3   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, Anhui, China
    2. School of Business, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
    3. School of Economics and Management, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, Anhui, China
  • Received:2020-03-26 Revised:2021-07-08 Online:2021-08-25 Published:2021-10-25
  • Contact: LU Lin;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41930644);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41861027);Guangxi Development Strategy Institute


With the increasing complexity of tourism destination development, nonlinear research method has become an effective way for tourism destination evolution research. This paper, with Shanghai as a case study, takes the tourism demand as the dynamic behavior representation of the complex system of the tourism destination by using the method of horizontal visibility graph. It explores the evolution process and dynamic characteristics of the complex system of tourism destination. Result shows that the evolution of tourism destination complex system is featured by a small world and approximate scale-free network, which is characterized by chaotic dynamic behavior and chaotic deterministic nonlinear dynamic system. The evolution of the complex system of Shanghai tourism destination is in the chaos of "order in disorder" or the edge of chaos. The original order of the system has collapsed, and new attributes and structures have emerged gradually, and then they will form a new advanced order. The complex system of tourism destination follows the process of "order - chaos (edge) - emergence - new order", from low order to high order. The major events dominated by the external environment and the main system are the "key elements" of the evolution of complex tourism destination system from low-level order to high-level order. The improvement of the government's learning and innovation ability acts as a "propeller" in the system's phased evolution. Tourism enterprises begin to play a critical role and become the leading force to promote the development of complex system of Shanghai's tourism destination in the future. International inbound tourism source countries of Shanghai (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Britain, France, Canada, and Australia) and domestic foreign tourism market are in an unstable chaotic region, which is an important factor affecting the chaotic behavior of the complex system of Shanghai's tourism destination. We should control the chaos, strengthen the management and guidance, and promote the formation of orderly state in the new evolution stage of the complex system of Shanghai's tourism destination.

Key words: tourism destination complex system, nonlinearity, evolution process, network, Shanghai