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Exploring the Coordinated Evolution Mechanism of Regional Sustainable Development and Tourism in China’s “Beautiful China” Initiative

Xiaoyu Wang, Minyi Zhang, Siying Jie, Mu Zhang () and Zhan Zhang
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Xiaoyu Wang: School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
Minyi Zhang: Faculty of International Tourism and Management, City University of Macau, Taipa 999078, China
Siying Jie: Bureau of Culture, Tourism and Sports for Chengdu Eastern New Area Municipal Administration Committee, Chengdu 641418, China
Mu Zhang: Shenzhen Tourism College, Jinan University, Shenzhen 518053, China
Zhan Zhang: State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China

Land, 2023, vol. 12, issue 5, 1-24

Abstract: As the world’s largest developing country, China first proposed the construction of a Beautiful China initiative in 2012, with the aim of exploring Chinese solutions for sustainable regional development. The construction of a beautiful China is based on the guiding ideology of the Five-sphere Integrated Plan in China, that is, the overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, including economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction. This paper aims to understand the coupling relationship, as well as the spatial and temporal changes, between China’s sustainable development under the Beautiful China initiative and tourism. Using data from the China Statistical Yearbook database, we constructed an evaluation index system to measure both the construction of beautiful China and tourism development using a literature review, statistical analysis, the entropy method and GIS-based spatial analysis methods. Furthermore, using the 31 Chinese provinces as the research subject, we further analyzed the state of Beautiful China construction and tourism development, as well as their coupling relationships of the two systems. Our results show that firstly, the economic “hard power” plays the most prominent role in the process of building a beautiful China under the sustainable development regime, while the status of cultural “soft power” has also been well reflected. Secondly, the weight ranking of tourism evaluation indicators and the spatial distribution of tourism development levels both reflect the central and fundamental role of tourism market demand in tourism development. Third, the weight ranking of tourism evaluation indicators ranks the highest in the mean value of the coupling coordination degree of society, ecology and tourism in the Beautiful China subsystem, which reflects the harmony between society and ecology and the significant livelihood function of tourism as a happiness industry in the new era. Fourth, the spatial and temporal relationship between the coupled and coordinated development of the Beautiful China and tourism systems varies, indicating that there is a regional imbalance in China’s sustainable development. This further indicates the need to adapt to local conditions, and to build on strengths and avoid weaknesses to achieve regional sustainable development. The study highlights China’s contribution to global sustainable development. It also provides theoretical and practical guidance for the promotion of the coordinated development of both Beautiful China and tourism.

Keywords: regional sustainable development; the Beautiful China initiative; regional differences; coupling coordination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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