Evaluation of tourism and tourist resources in China: Existing methods and their limitations
The evaluation of both tourism and tourist resources in China remains problematic. On the macro-level, only the positive contributions of tourism have been evaluated, ignoring the aspects of disparities between the east coast and the inland area, inbound tourism and domestic tourism, nature-based and city-based tourism, positive and negative effects from tourism and so on. On the micro- and site- specific level, tourist resources characterised by non-marketable and non-use values are not properly evaluated, exposing these fragile resources to the plight of exploitation. Commercialisation of tourist resources, including natural environment and ethnic cultures, threatens further development of tourism in China. The limited applicability of the travel cost and the contingent valuation method in measuring the value of recreation sites in China is discussed.