Resources Science ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 931-942.doi: 10.18402/resci.2019.05.10

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Inbound tourism from destination countries in the “Belt and Road” region and corresponding outbound tourism from China during 2001 to 2015

Xiaojin WEN1(), Yiyi JIANG1, Yanxu LIU2()   

  1. 1. Institute of International Tourism Research, China Tourism Academy, Beijing 100005, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-10-18 Revised:2018-11-27 Online:2019-05-25 Published:2019-05-25


The “Belt and Road” initiative ushered in a new opportunity for the development of China’s tourism industry internationally. A comparison of the spatial pattern of change between outbound tourism from China and inbound tourism from the destination countries in the “Belt and Road” countries can provide some guidance on the overall arrangement to broaden the space for the development of China’s outbound tourism market. In this study, using multiple spatial analysis methods such as coefficient of variation, average annual growth rate, spatial hot spot, trajectory of gravity center change, and standard deviation ellipse, the spatial pattern and change of outbound tourism from China and inbound tourism from the corresponding destination countries from 2001 to 2015 were identified. Three main results were obtained. (1) Cambodia and Vietnam received rapidly growing Chinese outbound tourists, while Thailand is an important destination favored by both Chinese and foreign tourists. (2) China’s outbound tourism is still dominated by tropical and subtropical island countries around Asia; distant tourism markets in other countries have always been cold spots; the Southeast Asian tourism market is a joint hot spot for both China’s outbound tourism and global tourism destinations, such as Thailand and Malaysia. (3) Spatial distribution of Chinese outbound tourists gradually developed from south-north to northwest-southeast; the spatial distribution of inbound tourists from corresponding destination countries remained in northwest-southeast direction, and the spatial variation of Chinese outbound tourists was much larger than that of inbound tourists from destinations. While maintaining the scale advantage of the Southeast Asia tourism market, China’s outbound tourism can pay attention to other mature tourism markets such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East in the context of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Key words: outbound tourism, inbound tourism, hot spot analysis, trajectory of gravity center, “Belt and Road”