Spatial-temporal Evolution and Its Influencing Factors of Tourism Eco-efficiency in China

Chengpeng Lu (Institute of County Economic Development & Rural Revitalization Strategy, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China; School of Economics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China)
Tianyang Ma (School of Economics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China)
Zhiliang Liu (School of Economics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China)

Article ID: 4688



Eco-efficiency is an invaluable indicator for the measurement of the relationship between production activities and environmental depletion. This study measures the tourism eco-efficiency of 30 provinces in China from 2005 to 2020 based on the super-efficiency SBM model, and explores its spatial-temporal evolution characteristics using the kernel density function, standard deviation ellipse, and center of gravity model. Then, the influencing factors of the tourism eco-efficiency in China are analyzed by Tobit regression model. The results show that the tourism eco-efficiency of China is generally fluctuating upwards, but has not yet reached the maximum production possibility frontier. The kernel density curve shows a unimodal-bimodal-unimodal pattern, while the inter-provincial differences have been decreasing and becoming more balanced. The center of gravity of tourism eco-efficiency is located at the junction of Henan and Hubei province and generally moves to the south (slightly to the southwest). Meanwhile, it is revealed that the level of economic development and the tourism eco-efficiency has a significant inverted U-shaped relationship. The level of economic openness, traffic conditions, and tourism eco-efficiency is positively correlated. The environmental regulations and industrial structure have a negative but limited impact on tourism eco-efficiency. Finally, recommendations and suggestions for policy formulation to promote quality and sustainable development of the tourism industry are put forward, such as increasing investment in ecological protection and governance in tourism development, improving capacity-building in allocating green and low-carbon technologies and resources, strengthening tourism infrastructure construction, and enhancing environmental governance systems and mechanisms.


Tourism eco-efficiency; Spatial pattern; Influencing factors; Spatial analysis; China

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