TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 293-303.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002944

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Tourism-driven Urbanization in Ancient Rural Areas: A Case Study of the Hongcun Village

LU Song1,2,ZHOU Xiaofeng2,ZHANG Xiaojun2,XING Lihong2   

  1. (1.College of tourism,Shanghai Normal University,Shanghai 200234,China;2.College of Tourism,Anhui Normal University,Wuhu 241003,China)
  • Online:2017-05-05 Published:2017-05-05

Abstract: Development of tourism has already become an effective way to the protection and usage of the ancient village heritages. It has brought significant changes to the land use, employment patterns and the industrial structure in traditional rural areas. And the development of tourism has also become an important driving force to the urbanization of those areas. This paper takes Hongcun, one of the World Cultural Heritages, as an example, to research the urbanization process of the ancient villages under the tourism drive in terms of the land, industry and population, etc. The research is done on the basis of the field survey by the whole team. Several methods such as GIS and in-depth interviews are used. The purpose of the paper is to provide reference for China village urbanization, traditional rural cultural heritage protection and sustainable development of tourism. The results indicate: 1) The land urbanization process of Hongcun mainly occurs in peripheral areas around the scenic spot, as Hongcun is a world cultural heritage and the national key culture relic protection site, where all kinds of construction and development activities are strictly prohibited. Hongcun tourism triggered by the process of urbanization occurred mainly in the villages around Hongcun proper. And the land urbanization is mainly manifested on the structure and the type of the land use. Before applying for world cultural heritage, the land exploitation of Hongcun mainly focused on a small scale development in the scenic area, while after that the development direction has transferred to Jicun where there has a river opposite to Hongcun, and the land has been exploited at a faster speed and larger scale. 2) Driven by the development of tourism for more than 30 years, Hongcun’s industrial structure has been continuously adjusted. The tertiary industry has been continuously increasing, and now the proportion of the three industries is 68:21:11, in the order of tertiary industry-secondary industry-primary industry. At the same time, with the rapid development of small tourism businesses, the international luxury resort brands of businesses have begun to enter the market. All those will give tremendous impact on Hongcun tourism and economic development. 3) The agglomeration trend of Hongcun population is more obvious, mainly because of the returning of local residents by the tourism interests attraction and the inflow of external investors and labor force. And the employment structure of local residents has transformed to non-agriculturization direction, the local residents’ life way is gradually modernized, and the social behavior as well as the ideology has trended to urbanization. Finally, in this paper some factors which affect the tourism urbanization of Hongcun are briefly discussed.

Key words: rural urbanization, tourism driven, traditional village, Hongcun