A dynamic view on tourism and rural development: A tale of two villages in Yunnan Province, China

Xiaotao Yang, Kam Hung, Honggen Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study traces tourism and agriculture development in two typical villages of contemporary China, where one is tourism-oriented and the other is agriculture-oriented. Through in-depth interviews with 57 villagers, the study presents the complexity of the socio-cultural relationships underpinning agriculture and rural tourism and confirms that these relationships are not static. The comparison sheds light on the villagers’ varying attitudes toward rural tourism, their collective management approaches, and the experiences of rural culture they share with visitors. To capture the changing nature of these findings over time, a dynamic model of rural development is generated as a framework for future studies. This study suggests that large-scale villager participation in rural tourism may not be a desirable outcome, as it may contribute to the decline of rurality. It offers a warning against the use of tourism as the sole tool for rural development, even though that has been advocated by the Chinese Central Government as a primary economic strategy for numerous impoverished rural villages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-261
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • agriculture
  • China
  • culture
  • rural development
  • Rural tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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