To Examine The Critical Principles Of Tourism Sustainability And Access The Perceived Challenges Of The Tourists In China
centercenter100000100000Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307189″Introduction PAGEREF _Toc349307189 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307190″Research Problem PAGEREF _Toc349307190 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307191″Rationale of the Research PAGEREF _Toc349307191 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307192″Research Objectives PAGEREF _Toc349307192 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307193″Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc349307193 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307194″Research Methodology PAGEREF _Toc349307194 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307195″Justification of Methods PAGEREF _Toc349307195 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307196″Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc349307196 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307197″Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc349307197 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307198″References PAGEREF _Toc349307198 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc349307199″Appendix A Time Frame PAGEREF _Toc349307199 h 12
IntroductionThere have been continuous economic challenges in the rural areas of the world mostly in developing countries and it can’t be measured with the GDP growth rate due to growing gap between rich urban population and poor rural population. The rural areas are facing problems like migration of rural population to urban areas, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure, financial resources, traditional style of agriculture and this is reflected in countries like China. (Buckley,2009) On the other hand Jian from Barclays capital comments that Urbanization is the driver behind China’s economic growth and it is the first time the urban population has surpassed the rural population and their income has increased by 8.9% (Hirschberg, 2012)
Chinese government has been continuously working to alleviate rural poverty by develop sustainable strategies and ecotourism has gained lot of attention as a potential and fashionable economic model to meet the government objectives like diversifying traditional mode of agricultural practices, utilizing the surplus workforce due to increased jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector and enhancement of industrial structure of the rural areas. (Buckley, 2012)
Research ProblemEcotourism is relatively new approach adopted by the government to improve and diversity the rural economy and not a dominant strategy but the local government is giving significant support and professing it as a sustainable development tool. (Harris,Williams,Griffin, 2012) According to Yuan, Dai and Wang (2008) funding for the ecotourism is the major challenge for the nation and government is spending only around $52 per sq km compared to $157 in other developing nations and $2058 in developed nations. So 41.5% of the natural reserves are not able to manage even routine operational expenses. Honey and Martha (2008) comments that as opposed to the claims of ecotourism there has been many evidences that due to the rapid development of protected areas many local people have received no compensation or living in unsafe conditions. Bendell & Font(2004) also suggests that sustainability can be considered ideal for ecotourism but the objectives, principles are quite vogue and insufficient to provide a tourism model which is applicable and practical for implementation.
Figure 1. Longji Terraces (Jiang, 2012)
The ecotourism development in China has many cases with positive and negative impacts like the development at Shangri-La has caused community development, heritage protection but at the same time destroyed the destroyed the potential agricultural terrain as show in figure 1. (Jigang, 2012)
Rationale of the ResearchThe aim of this research is to examine the critical principles of tourism sustainability and access the perceived challenges of the tourists in China. This conceptual model will be used to deduce the challenges faced by the government in China and recommendation will be made to improve the current ecotourism in China. (Harris,Williams,Griffin, 2012)
Research ObjectivesOn the basis of the above research problem the thesis will aim to meet the following research objectives:
a) Critically evaluate the principle sustainability principles of Ecotourism.
b) To identify the barriers of implementing ecotourism in China.
b) Summarise the best practices from other nations which can be helpful in improving the current practices in China.
Literature ReviewSustainable tourism means the usage of sustainable principles to meet the tourism goals and it can be defined as, “the meeting the exact needs of the host communities, tourists by managing the balance between economic, environmental, social and cultural interests to create opportunities for the future” (Toth, 2002; Bendell and Font, 2004) There are basically three different dimensions- Economic efficiency, Social Equity and Environmental conservation, which are illustrated by Swarbrooke (1999) as shown in figure 2. Hobson & Essex (2001) has observed four important features of sustainable tourism and they are:
a) Development of system to maintain the economic, cultural, social and environmental interest of the host nation.
b) Improvement in the local environment to regenerate itself.
c) Policies and procedures to minimize the impact of tourist activities to cause depletion and pollution in the host nation.
d) Enhancement of the tourism related services (accommodation, food, transport, interpreters, guides etc.) to enhance the experience of tourists.
Despite varying perception among scholars about ecotourism most of the researchers agree that the three pillars of ecotourism are, “nature based, sustainably managed and environmentally educated”. (Blamey, 2001)
Figure 2. Dimensions of Ecotourism (Swarbrooke, 1999)
According to Diamantis (2004), there has been considerable difference between the sustainable tourism and ecotourism as the former is a broader concept as it encompasses tourism industry as a whole while the latter is a part of it. So it requires proper planning and need of monitoring system to meet the corporate or country objectives.
Figure 3. Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism (Diamantis, 2004)
Sustainable tourism includes urban and rural areas with need to develop an attitude of care at their home place and also in places of travelling interests while ecotourism is related with experiencing the natural environment and requires the participation of tourists to conserve the nature and participate in socio-economic welfare of the rural community. Although the negative impacts can’t be ignored but small-scale ecotourism is considered to avoid most of the negative effects only when carefully planned and developed in phases. (Cooper, 2005)
Stewart (2002), Cooper (2005) have evaluated that certification is an important tool to enhance the standards of ecotourism as in this process the 3rd party assessment is taken where there is a written confirmation/assurance that the available product, business processes, services are of desired levels and conform to the industry standards. Through this scheme the tourism industry can reduce the control of government through self-regulation and the tourists are able to get detailed information about the products/places/services before they decide to travel. This process is an interesting opportunity to development sustainable ecotourism but it has poor uptake in the tourism industry as it requires support from government related to recognition, funding and assessment.
The literature review will also discuss the historical stages of development theory to highlight the relationship between tourism and development, strategies for sustainable development, benefits of ecotourism and the operational problems.
Research MethodologyResearch is a systematic procedure where the researcher can adopt a qualitative or quantitative approach to meet the research objectives in a controlled and ethical manner with high validity and reliability. (Yin, 2010) It has also been recommended by Singh (2011) to use mix of both methods as it helps to reduce the attached bias of each approach and helps to make use of numbers and views of respondents for conclusion and recommendation. So this thesis will use both approaches and will be conducted in 7-8 weeks (Appendix A) in the following manner.
a) Qualitative Approach: In this approach the ideas, pattern are analysed and data from interviews will be interpreted. This method helps to gain primary (fresh data) data for the research and helps in developing more insight about the research problems like ecotourism challenges and barriers in implementing in China. (Yin, 2010)
b) Quantitative Approach: In this approach the researcher uses the numbers from primary or secondary data to analyse and interpret to develop insight and make deductions. But the results are objective in nature as opposed to subjective in qualitative approach. (Yin, 2010)
Justification of MethodsThis research will use primary data through interviews from tour operators of China and secondary data from industry reports, statistical data from government division and other sources. (Yin, 2010) In this research we will use questionnaire and interview method because:
i) Questionnaire Method: With the help of this method data can be collected even from remote location without influencing the respondents answer. The collected data can be quantified and can be presented using graphs, charts and the relationships between variables can be verified using Chi-Square test. The questions will be close ended based on 5 point likert scale which will help in reducing the bias attached with answer of respondents. (Saunders, 2012)
ii) Interview Method: This method will help to generate primary data through open ended questions as it will help in getting the actual perception of the respondents which is not possible with close ended questions like questionnaire. (Singh, 2011)
Questionnaire will be distributed to over 125 residents (convenient sampling method) from Tengtou in China after the ethical consent form has been received from the respondents. The researcher will use the manager of one hostel called Zhanshen Hostel (based in Tengtou) to distribute the questionnaire. No critical information about the respondents will be stored and no discrimination will be done on the basis of gender, religion or age so no attached risk in this thesis. All the objectives of the research will be shared with the respondents and won’t be shared with third party (data protection). Telephonic interview will be done with at least 5 tour operators using random sampling method and semi-structured interview. (Yin, 2010)
Data AnalysisThis thesis will use Excel software to verify the hypothesis using Chi Square test and Pearson correlation between variables and the answers will be presented using graphs and charts. (Yin, 2010).
ReferencesBendell, J. & Font, X. (2004). Which Tourism Rules? Green Standards and GATS. Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 139–156.
Blamey, R. K. (2001). Principles of Ecotourism. In D. B. Weaver (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism (pp. 5-22). Oxon and Cambridge: CABI.
Buckley,R.,2009,Ecotourism: Principles and Practices, CABI publication
Buckley, R. (2011). “Tourism and Environment”. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 36: 397–416.
Cooper,C., 2005,Tourism, Pearson Education Canada Publication
Diamantis, D., 2004,Ecotourism Management: An Overview. In D. Diamantis (Ed.), Ecotourism – Management and Assessment (pp. 3-26). London: Thomson.
Harris,Williams,Griffin, 2012,Sustainable Tourism, Routledge publication
Hirschberg,P., 2012,China’s Urban Population Exceeds Countryside for First Time [Available at] HYPERLINK “http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/china-urban-population-exceeds-rural.html”http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/china-urban-population-exceeds-rural.html [Accessed on 18 Feb 2013]
Hobson, K. & Essex, S., 2001,Sustainable Tourism: a View from Accommodation Businesses. The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 133-146.
Honey, Martha, 2008,Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (Second ed.). Washington, DC: Island Press.
Jigang,B. 2012,Sustainable Tourism Observatories and Cases in China [Available at] asiapacific.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/prof.bao_pptfinal.pdf [Accessed on 18 Feb 2013]
Saunders, 2012, Research Methods for Business Students, Prentice Hall Publication
Singh,Y.K. (2011), Research Methodology, APH Publishing
Swarbrooke, J. (1999). Sustainable Tourism Management. Oxon and New York: CABI.
Toth, R., 2002,Exploring the Concepts Underlying Certification. In M. Honey (Ed.), Ecotourism & Certification – Setting Standards in Practice (pp. 73-101). Washington-Covelo-London: Island Press
Yin, R.K., 2010, Case study research – Design and methods. 4th Edition. London: SAGE Publication
Yuan, J., L. Dai, and Q. Wang, 2008,State-led ecotourism development and nature conservation: a case study of the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China. Ecology and Society 13(2): 55. [Available at] HYPERLINK “http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art55/”http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art55/ [Accessed on 15 Feb 2013]
Appendix A Time Frame