Resources Science ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (9): 1724-1733.doi: 10.18402/resci.2019.09.13

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An evolutionary process model of tourism resource curse: Based on path dependence theory

LI Wenjing1,ZHANG Chaozhi1,2()   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. University of Illinois and Sun Yat-sen University International Joint Lab for National Park Research, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2019-01-25 Revised:2019-06-23 Online:2019-09-25 Published:2019-09-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Chaozhi


The application of tourism resource curse hypothesis in tourism research can explain the nonlinear relationship between tourism development and long-term economic growth, but how this process came about is unclear. This article examines the existing studies in the tourism resource curse research field by a systematic review. The study shows whether the resource-dependent tourism development hinders economic growth is the basis for judging the establishment of tourism resource curse. The crowding out effect to other industries is the principle of tourism resource curse. The classic path dependence model is the generation mechanism of the tourism resource curse. Based on these, this article analyzes the dynamic characteristics of tourism resource value and the complex characteristics of the tourism industry. Combined with the composite-standard model of path dependence, this article establishes a tourism resource curse evolutionary process model by combining macro-level and micro-level path dependence evolution. At the macro-level, due to the abundance of tourism resources, tourism destinations will be locked into a tourism development path. At the micro-level, however, due to the changes in the boundary of tourism resource value, tourism destinations will continue a hierarchical evolution according to the change of market needs and institutions, and transform the tourism development path. Facilitated by the evolutionary process, tourism destinations try to break through the tourism resource curse through different development paths. This study has deepened our understanding of the complex evolution process of tourism resource curse, and may provide some reference for promoting sustainable tourism.

Key words: tourism, resource curse hypothesis, path dependence, composite-standard model, tourism destination development, evolutionary turn