Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2014, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 1175-1197.doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1146-7

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial characteristics of development efficiency for urban tourism in eastern China: A case study of six coastal urban agglomerations

Rui LI1(), Qian GUO1, Dianting WU1,*(), Hongmei YIN2, Hua ZHANG1, Taoxing ZHU3,4   

  1. 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. School of Geography and Environment, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
    3. School of Government, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    4. School of Economics and Management, Shijiazhuang Tiedao University, Shijiazhuang 050043, China
  • Received:2013-08-30 Accepted:2014-01-20 Online:2014-06-20 Published:2015-07-09
  • About author:

    Author: Li Rui (1984-), PhD, specialized in urban and regional tourism, ethnical village tourism. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41401158.No.41140007.No.41261035


The traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA), bootstrap-DEA and Malmquist models are employed to measure different tourism efficiencies and their spatial characteristics of 61 cities in six coastal urban agglomerations in eastern China. The following conclusions are drawn. (1) The comprehensive efficiency (CE) of urban tourism using the bootstrap-DEA model is lower than the CE level using the DEA-CRS model, which confirms the significant tendency of the DEA-CRS model to overestimate results. (2) The geometric CE averages of urban tourism in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) have changed from ineffective to effective since 2000, the averages in the Beijing-Tianjin- Hebei (BTH) and the Shandong Peninsula (SDP) have changed from ineffective to moderately effective since 2000, and those in the Central and Southern Liaoning (CSL) and the West Bank of Taiwan Strait (WBTS) have been ineffective since 2000. (3) The CE values of urban tourism in the PRD, the YRD, the BTH and the SDP have been slightly affected by the pure technical efficiency (PTE), whereas the CE values in the CSL and the WBTS have been slightly affected by the scale efficiency (SE) since 2000. (4) Spatially, the range of geometric averages of the total factor productivity (TFP) for the PRD, the YRD, the BTH, the SDP, the WBTS and the CSL has decreased sequentially, while the one for most cities in six urban agglomerations has exhibited a downward trend since 2000. (5) Collectively, the natural conditions, the economic policies and the tourism capital drive the SE change of urban tourism of the CSL and the WBTS. The tourism enterprises for increasing returns to scale and imitating innovative technology have an effect on the CE change of urban tourism in the BTH and the SDP. The tourism market competition drives the PTE change of urban tourism in the PRD and the YRD. Although the PTE and the SE of urban tourism in six coastal urban agglomerations suffer from uncertain events, the CE maintained overall sound momentum since

Key words: urban tourism, development efficiency, coastal urban agglomerations, eastern China