Tourism to polluted lakes: Issues for tourists and the industry. an empirical analysis of four Chinese lakes

Chris Ryan, Gu Huimin, Kaye Kye Sung Chon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The paper seeks to address two specific questions. First, does the existence of polluted waters impact on the levels of satisfaction experienced by visitors to Chinese lakes? Second, does the local tourism industry (represented by a sample of hotel managers) correctly assess the importance of place attributes as assessed by visitors? The data pre- sented are obtained from a sample of 913 visitors to four polluted lakes that are holiday or day visit locations and from 121 managers of hotels in those same areas. The evidence suggests that polluted areas can still function successfully as tourist locations because visitors in these instances view the lakescapes as part of a wider attraction that includes a built environment but that the hotel industry over-emphasises the importance of that built structure as a contributor to tourist place experience. Limitations to the research include the role played by an aesthetic gaze, which may have more importance within a Chinese culture than among Western counterparts because, particularly for the older Chinese, concepts of harmonization with nature are directed through the visual senses and references to classical literature rather than physical participation in water-based sports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-614
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • China
  • Lakes
  • Pollution
  • The gaze
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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