Exploring Chinese sustainable tourism: a 25-year perspective

Haiyan Kong, Xuejie Qiu, Kangping Wang, Naipeng Bu, Catherine Cheung, Ning Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


As sustainable tourism advances, issues such as environmental pollution, overexploitation, and ecological imbalance have been identified alongside the effects of climate change and tourism. Thus, the literature related to sustainable tourism in emerging economies, especially in China, has grown rapidly and contributed to knowledge development in recent years. An in-depth and systematic review is required to explore research development and potential research opportunities. This paper explored 1,293 documents on Chinese sustainable tourism in the Scopus database, using indicator analysis along with scientific mapping methodologies such as VOSviewer and Gephi. It uncovered key journals, authors, and papers in relevant fields and identified four thematic clusters, namely, “government policy,” “rural and heritage tourism,” “ecotourism,” and “urban tourism.” Analyses based on Sustainable Development Goals suggested that advancements in Chinese sustainable tourism contribute positively to global efforts. Furthermore, this study outlined the pertinent themes and research areas for Chinese sustainable tourism, offering information and recommendations for future researchers and tourism practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Early online date26 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • China
  • Gephi
  • Sustainable tourism
  • visualization
  • VOSviewer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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