Title: Tourism-driven urbanisation in China's small town development: Yiren Town, China

Authors: Li Yang

Addresses: Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, 3519 Wood Hall, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5424, USA

Abstract: The tourism industry has emerged as a new dynamic impetus for urbanisation in China. Many small towns in the peripheral regions of China are experiencing urbanisation, especially in places where distinctive tourist attractions are located. However, little has been done to explore the role of tourism real estate development in Chinese urbanisation and its consequences. This paper addresses this gap through examining the process of tourism-driven urbanisation as a development strategy of small towns in China. The role of tourism real estate and its socio-economic consequences are also explored. The findings from a case study of Yiren Town, Yunnan Province, Southwest China, which is a newly-built destination, reveal that tourism real estate development has transformed Yiren from a sleepy small town into a place with diverse real estate landscapes. The construction of replica old towns alongside leisure properties constitutes a new pattern of urbanisation, suggesting that tourism developers and policy-makers should reconsider the large-scale development of tourism real estate and its impacts on the environment and adjacent communities.

Keywords: development; tourism real estate; urbanisation; impacts; Yunnan; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2019.101238

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2019 Vol.7 No.2, pp.132 - 156

Received: 19 Mar 2018
Accepted: 06 Mar 2019

Published online: 25 Jul 2019 *

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