The eco-tourism in China




1. The sustainable development of ecotourism.

2. The current situation about ecotourism in Chizhou

3. Current situation of ecotourism in China

4. The advice to Chinese sustainable development ecotourism Conclusion



Nowadays environmental problems have become more and more important to us. So people have paid much attention to the negative impact of tourism. In 1983, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Natural Resource) special adviser, H.Ceballos-Lascurain brought up a new idea “ecotourism”.

In some developed countries, ecotourism known as an important movement since 1980s. The definitions of ecotourism are varying. Rather than the destinations' personal comfort, ecotourim in general are more interested in viewing the natural beauty and experiencing the original cultures. However, every coin has its two sides. The tourism industry rapidly improved global economic growth. It but also brings many problems to society, environment and people’s life.Some problems about the sustainable development of ecotourism still not only exist in china but also in all over the world. It suggests that tourism brings a multitude of negative impacts. Now, I want to reflect on sustainability and eco-friendly tourism to review relevant issues such as conceptual definition problems of sustainable tourism, and reviewed nature of tourism industry, and approaches for ecotourism of Chizhou.

Chizhou is the example that will use in my essay. As the first National Exhibit District of Ecological Economy and having lots of ecotourism resources, Chizhou has many perfect conditions to develop ecotourism. This essay will firstly analyse what is sustainable development of ecotourism. Secondly the current situation about ecotourism in Chizhou will be explored. Thirdly how to

achieve real ecotourism in Chizhou will be expounded in details.


A. The sustainable development of ecotourism.

1. The definition of ecotourism

Ecotourism is perhaps the most over-used or mis-used word in the travel industry. But what does it mean? People tend to define things in terms that are beneficial to themselves. Hence there are various definitions of that. There are however several workable definitions currently in wide use. The Ecotourism Society defines it as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people". That’s to say, a walk through the rainforest is not ecotourism unless that particular walk somehow benefits that environment and the people who live there; a rafting trip is only ecotourism if it raises awareness and funds to help protect the watershed. The Australian Commission on National Ecotourism Strategy calls it: "nature-based tourism that involves education and interpretation of the natural environment and is managed to be ecologically sustainable”.Since the publication of Martha Honey's excellent book "Ecotourism and Sustainable Development", her definition is quickly becoming the standard. It’s ma inly about minimizing impact, building environmental awareness, and providing financial benefits and empowerment for local people.

Considering the above several definitions, the exact definition should be “the combination of responsible tourism, nature-based tourism, green tourism and cultural tourism.”

2. The sustainable development.

Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

All definitions of sustainable development require that people can see the world as a system—a system that connects space; and a system that connects time. When a person think of the world as a system over space, he may grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia. And when people think of the world as a system over time, they start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today.

In a word, sustainable development means human’s environmental, economic

and social well-being for today and tomorrow.

3. The sustainable development in ecotourism

According to David Barkin, ecotourism is a tool for sustainable development. And he thinks, ecotourism, to be successful, must promote sustainable development by establishing a durable productive base that allows local inhabitants and ecotourist service providers to enjoy rising standards of living. So ecotourism is widely believed to be the perfect economic activity to promote both sustainability and development. And it is seen as a major form of a sustainable development of tourism. And when we fulfill ecotourism, we have fulfilled the sustainable development of tourism. Then the sustainable development of ecotourism is really made.

B. The current situation about ecotourism in Chizhou

Chinese ecotourism market was raised in the mid-20th century, 90. The "environmental and ecological T our 1999" and 2002 "International Y ear of Ecotourism" activities pushed the ecotourism to a new climax.

Chizhou is China's first National Ecological Demonstration Area Economic. It is one of the 16 pilot areas of sustainable development that recognised by the United States. And it is also one of four pilot cities of China-US Joint Community Sustainable Development. Chizhou is famous with " 2 mountains and a lake". It becomes the key regions of Anhui's tourism development strategy. And adhere to ecotourism development is the important guarantee for it to achieve sustainable development of tourism.

1. Status of Chizhou’s Ecotourism

Chizhou is located in southwestern Anhui, the city's population of about 1.6 million. It’s forest coverage rate is about 57%. Chizhou City totally belongs to plateau and valley region of Hengduan Mountain. The geological structures are very complicated. The terrain inclines from the northwest to southeast. “In the territory of Chizhou, there are hundreds of mountains most of which are running with the south-north trend. For example, the famous mountains are Yulong Snow Mountain (also called Jade Dragon Snow Mountain), Laojun Mountain and so on. What’s more, there are about more than 90 rivers in Chizhou and many lakes such as Lashihai Lake, Lugu Lake and etc.”4 2.2 Characteristics of Climate Though Chizhou lies in the area of low latitude, the elevation is high. With the reason of its terrain, Chizhou enjoys 3 kinds of climate which are subtropical climate, temperate climate and frigid climate. “So, it’s warm-cold in northwest and hot in southeast. The average temperature of Chizhou is 12.6 degrees and the range of temperature is small. In Chizhou, the characteristics of long-time winter, no summer and no change of coldness and hotness make it fit for sight-seeing in the whol e year.”

Chizhou owns various natural resources and tourism advantages. C hizhou is a famous tourism destination and has brought improvements to the quality of local people. Protection of environment and resources is the basic condition in the sustainable development of Chizhou tourism industry. Then, ecotourism is the best choice to be fit for the development. Diversified eco-environment and

ethnic culture compose its unique tourism resources. T ourists will feel the mystery of the nature and the happiness of harmonious communication between human and nature when they travel. As the successful application of “Three paralleling river” for World Natural Heritage with Chizhou as its key part, ecotourism in this area will be the new point of economy growth and important field of investment in 21st century.

With the reason of big gap of elevation, various landscapes and complicated climate situation, plants and animals in Chizhou have a better living environment. So, “Chizhou enjoys much fame such as Plants Kingdom, Home of Medicinal Materials and so on. Whats needed to mention is that Chenghai Lake is not only the third largest producing area of natural spiruli na, but also the biggest breeding base of spirulina in the world.”

2. Chizhou ecotourism market positioning

Chizhou’s major ecotourism in accordance with the needs of the tourism market can be divided into five kinds:

1) Eco-environmental function, mainly referring to ecotourism resources can be provided for ecotourists, climate and environment, landscape environment, social and cultural environment.

2) Ecological landscape functions, means for people to appreciate the aesthetics of landscape functions.

3) Eco-health functions, that allows people to rest and recuperate, dispel fatigue, cure certain diseases and so on.

4) Ecological and cultural features, natural landscape evolution in the history of

a certain human resources. It creates a rich cultural atmosphere in the natural landscape with history, culture, education, science, appreciation, and other values.

5) Ecological protection, embodied in the conservation of biological heritage features, the conservation of biological diversity, and protect the balance of ecosystem functions.

The rich forest ecotourism resources make Chizhou be the ideal place for developing forest ecotourism. Also, the development of forest ecotourism will promote the economic development of mountain areas, fasten the steps of improving living standard and strengthen the ability of sustainable development of forest industry. So, under the premise of sustaining the integrity and specialty, the roads of the town must be reconstructed. At the same time, the river facilities should be remade for preventing pollution. By the training for the local people to join in the activity of ecotourism, it should explore the program of family travel to increase the income of families so as to promote the development of local economy.

C. Current situation of ecotourism in China

The development of Chinese tourism is not longer than other countries. People in china are lack of scientific understanding of relationship between tourism and environment. For example, the concept "smokeless industry is tourism," is still popular, and most ecotourism development still remains in the initial stage.

In fact, the development of Chinese tourism has caused serious environmental pollution, specifically in the following areas:

1). extensive mode of tourism resources development. Many parts of the government departments are concerned about the development of tourism resources, but they are lack of in-depth investigation, comprehensive scientific feasibility studies and planning. In particular the development of new tourist ar eas, developers’ instant success, in the absence of the necessary feasibility studies and master plan under the conditions, they blindly carry out exploration, extensive development. As a result, many non-renewable precious tourism resources were damaged and wasted. Such as: the "fairy-tale world," Jiuzhaigou, now, because of upstream and the surrounding forest has been cut off with a large areas. Huanglong is also becoming degradation. If the government does nothing to protect the karst Hu, it will be declined too early. What is even more puzzling is that the departments only concerned to have more and more tourists. They built many large hotels that cause serious damage to the atmosphere of the natural landscape.

Wildlife is very important and precious tourism resources. Mismanagement, poor law enforcement is in many parts of the development of tourism resources, many wild animals killed by the indiscriminate chaos, some restaurants were used wild animals as food to attract the attention of tourists, even above many endangered species. It is a very sad thing. Care for the wild animals and protect them, should become one of the most important

element in ecotourism and should pay more attention to it.

2). Scenic ecological system disorders

In recent decades, the artificial landscape, commercialization and urbanization China's landscape, including the "World Heritage List" of the landscape, have been more and more destroyed. In the landscape people are faced with stone and deforestation, flash floods, destroyed road, long drought, no rain, and water depletion, and water shortage. Some landscape areas, on economic purposes, are keen on hotels, restaurants, construction and blind expansion of tourism, construction of tourism facilities.

As to the tramway, Japan's Mount Fuji is 3,776 m above sea level, and more visitors, choose to the board on their own step by step. However in China, some of the ancient mountains are on the construction of a modern tramway. Some mountain’s altitude is less than 100M, but they also construct the tramway. Tramway, which built in natural scenic area, not only can destroy the original appearance of the natural scenic area, but also makes the tourists focus on the limited area of the peak, resulting in landscape and ecological damage.

D. The advice to Chinese sustainable development ecotourism Although China is far from the real eco-tourism, we could image the future of eco-tourism in China only referring to the current preservations of ancient buildings and civilization in China. The cultural and spiritual environment in

urban areas is also the key for ecological protection. Only the improvement of the human environment can guarantee the preservation of the ecological environment. This involves a process of improvement of attitudes.

In order to achieve real eco-tourism in China, China should aims to the development of responsible tourism, nature-based tourism, green tourism and cultural tourism. If China can really fulfill such tourisms, then they are not far from real eco-tourism.

Of course some same problems also exist in some other countries, and for them, they also need to do from accomplishing the above several tourisms. That’s the main points of the sustainable development of eco-tourism. If they do that well, both China and other countries can achieve real eco-tourism.


In conclusion, to justify the conclusions, China has a lot of famous tour places in the world and has abundant tour resources, for example Chizhou. In recent years, its tourism develops very fast and it results in some environmental and economic problems. The essay centers on the theme of ecotourism and nature to introduce the various ecotourism resources in China with some famous scenic spots as its examples. At the same time, some suggestions are made to help the development of ecotourism. The essay aims to protect the ecological environment of China and popularize for the sustainable development of Chinese tourism industry.


Burton, R. (1997). The sustainability of ecotourism. In M.J. Stabler (Ed.), Tourism and sustainability: Principles to practice (pp. 357-374). Wallingford: CAB International.

Epler Wood, M. (2002). Ecotourism: Principles, practices & policies for sustainability. UNEP.

China sees ecotourism on the rise. 2008-10-17.

Zhang Wei. (2000, Jun) Study on Eco-tourism Development in Chizhou. JOURNAL OF ANHUI AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES. (2006 34th)

Ecotourism Resource Centre. Cristina, 2004

Page, S.J., & Dowling, R.K. (2002). Ecotourism. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Ryan, C., Hughes, K., & Chirgwin, S. (2000). The gaze, spectacle and ecotourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 27 (1): 148-163. [Online]

Weaver, D. (2001). Criteria & context. In Ecotourism (pp. 1-28). Milton: John Wiley & Sons.

Beaumont, N. (2001). Ecotourism and the conservation ethic: Recruiting the uninitiated or preaching to the converted. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 9 (4): 317-341. [Online]

Moscardo, G.M., & Woods, B. (1998). Managing tourism in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area: Interpretation and the experience of visitors on Skyrail. In E. Laws, B. Faulkner, & G. Moscardo (Eds.), Embracing and managing change in tourism (pp.307-323).

Moscardo, G. (1998). Interpretation & sustainable tourism. J. Tourism Studies,9(1):2-13.

Eco-tourism in China. 2009-07-06