Title: Is the Chinese tourist ready for sustainable tourism? Attitudes and preferences for sustainable tourism services

Authors: Jiong Yan, Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner, Jianchao Xi, Jan Barkmann, Rainer Marggraf

Addresses: Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Mail Box 301, Sichuan University, No. 29 Wangjiang Road, Chengdu 610065, China. ' Environmental and Resource Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, Platz der Gottinger Sieben 5, D-37073 Gottingen, Germany. ' Center for Tourism Research, Institute for Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Anwai, Beijing 100101, China. ' Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Sichuan University, No. 29 Wangjiang Road, Chengdu 610065, China. ' Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Sichuan University, No. 29 Wangjiang Road, Chengdu 610065, China

Abstract: The identification of attitudes has been shown to enhance the prediction of consumer behaviour. Chinese tourist attitudes toward sustainable tourism services received little attention; however, as most work on Chinese tourism is conducted from a supply side perspective. We report results from a study conducted in Beijing and Chengdu (mainland China) on the influence of attitudes on the economic preferences (willingness-to-pay/WTP) for sustainable tourism services (n = 213). Two |positive| attitude dimensions received very high agreement ratings, but did not influence WTP. In contrast, a |negative| sceptical attitude had a negative effect on preferences. For illustration, we apply calculated WTP values to tourism development scenarios of two nature- and landscape-oriented destinations in western China. Scenario comparison demonstrates high risks of non-sustainable tourism development. Once the natural and cultural heritage is compromised and the tourism experience is tarnished, improvements in trip convenience may not offset economic losses of tourism value.

Keywords: sustainable tourism; China; willingness-to-pay; preferences; destination coices; choice modelling; attitudes; consumer behaviour; tourism services; natural heritage; cultural heritage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2010.033738

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2010 Vol.3 No.1, pp.86 - 106

Available online: 29 Jun 2010

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