Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 835-856.doi: 10. 1007/s11442-017-1409-1

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution and spatial characteristics of tourism field strength of cities linked by high-speed rail (HSR) network in China

Degen WANG1(), Yu NIU2, Feng SUN3,*, Kaiyong WANG4(), Jia QIAN3, Feng LI3   

  1. 1. School of Architecture, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
    2. Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida 32611,USA
    3. Tourism Department of Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
    4. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-11-03 Accepted:2016-12-23 Online:2017-07-10 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Feng SUN;
  • About author:

    Author: Wang Degen (1973-), PhD and Professor, specialized in high-speed rail tourism and urban tourism. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Wang Kaiyong (1980-), E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41271134


Traffic is an indispensable prerequisite for a tourism system. The “four vertical and four horizontal” HSR network represents an important milestone of the “traffic revolution” in China. It will affect the spatial pattern of tourism accessibility in Chinese cities, thus substantially increasing their power to attract tourists and their radiation force. This paper examines the evolution and spatial characteristics of the power to attract tourism of cities linked by China’s HSR network by measuring the influence of accessibility of 338 HSR-linked cities using GIS analysis. The results show the following. (1) The accessibility of Chinese cities is optimized by the HSR network, whose spatial pattern of accessibility exhibits an obvious traffic direction and causes a high-speed rail-corridor effect. (2) The spatial pattern of tourism field strength in Chinese cities exhibits the dual characteristics of multi-center annular divergence and dendritic diffusion. Dendritic diffusion is particularly more obvious along the HSR line. The change rate of urban tourism field strength forms a high-value corridor along the HSR line and exhibits a spatial pattern of decreasing area from the center to the outer limit along the HSR line. (3) The influence of the higher and highest tourism field strength areas along the HSR line is most significant, and the number of cities that distribute into these two types of tourism field strengths significantly increases: their area expands by more than 100%. HSR enhances the tourism field strength value of regional central cities, and the radiation range of tourism attraction extends along the HSR line.

Key words: high-speed rail network, tourism field strength, spatial pattern, evolution, China