Sustainability of Chinese Tourism-Assisting the Poor Policies: The Perspective of Policy Values

Guo Yan,Awangku Hassanal Bahar Pengiran Bagul


As tourism sustainability is not clearly defined, tourism policies in many countries are criticized for overemphasizing economic growth. Chinese tourism has contributed significantly to poverty reduction and sustainable development in impoverished areas under the guidance of the tourism-assisting the poor policies (TAPPs). But little literature has investigated whether and how Chinese TAPPs promote sustainable development in impoverished areas. As policy values are the basis of policy formulation and implementation, this study identifies the sustainability values reflected in typical Chinese TAPP documents to fill this gap. This study conducts the content analysis of the TAPP documents issued by the Chinese Central Government during 1984–2020 under the modified framework of sustainability value dimensions. It’s found that the overall sustainability value structure of TAPPs is dominated by economic and social-cultural values, contributing to the success of Chinese absolute poverty eradication. The steady increase in environmental values implies the Chinese government’s growing attention to environmental problems caused by tourism-assisting the poor initiative though still far from enough. The evolution of TAPP sustainability values is consistent with Chinese economic and social development strategies. The research is expected to help international scholars better understand TAPPs’ role in achieving SDG and offer implications for the Chinese government in improving sustainability in the rural revitalization strategy.


Keywords: poverty alleviation, tourism sustainability, policy values, rural tourism, rural revitalization.

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