Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 1127-1135.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003289

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Difference in Thermal Comfort at the Province Scale: A Case Study of the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone

Wenli Lai1(), Jie Zhang2,3(), Zhizhong Zhao1, Yeqing Cheng1, Tao Li4, Shengyu Wang1   

  1. 1.College of Geography and Environmental Science, Hainan Normal University, Haikou 571158, China
    2.College of Ecology and Environment, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
    3.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    4.Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone, Enterprise management department, Sanya 572025, China
  • Received:2020-04-05 Revised:2020-08-07 Online:2020-11-30 Published:2020-12-10
  • Contact: Jie Zhang;


With the influence of global warming, changes in climate suitability have become one of the most important factors that affect tourist satisfaction. The Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone in Sanya City was selected as the study area. The thermal comfort of tourists was subjectively evaluated with a random questionnaire survey and objectively through the Net Effective Temperature (NET), which was based on 1960-2019 daily meteorological datasets that included air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed data obtained from 756 meteorological stations. The spatial differences in thermal comfort with long-term and/or short-term climate memory were discussed with respect to the theory of neutral state deviation. The results showed that there were significant differences in sex and age, and the risk of thermal stress in young women wasis the highest. None of the differences that emerged between men of different ages were substantial. The heat tolerance of young men was significantly higher than that of young women. With increasing age, the incidence of high thermal stress showed a significant linear decreasing trend. In addition, the proportion of high thermal stress at the province scale was classified and discussed. In category I (high risk, including eight provinces), the ratio was 75% with higher long-term NETs and increased to 88% with lower long-term NETs. In contrast, in category II (low risk, including 14 provinces), the ratio was 75% with higher long-term NETs and decreased to 63% with lower long-term NETs. The neutral state of thermal stress has a more obvious short-term memory bias. We discovered that the correlation between long-term climate state and the proportion of high thermal stress was weak. The lower the temperature in tourist source destinations, the greater the proportion of high thermal stress was. This is consistent with the hypothesis of neutral state, which verifies that the neutral state of thermal stress has a more obvious short-term climate memory bias. It is worth noting that the 9-day short-term memory leads to the most significant neutral state deviation. Compared to the air temperature, the NET had a stronger spatial consistency. We noted that it is easier to identify the neutral state deviation of thermal stress with the NET, and the NET is more suitable for the quantitative assessment of thermal comfort. This study detailed the influence of climatic factors on tropical coastal tourism and revealed that the short-term climate memory of tourist source destinations is a crucial factor affecting the thermal stress deviation of tourists. Based on the analysis results, the tourism market can be subdivided according to the differences in thermal stress between different tourist groups in the off-season, and could be influenced through various processes, such as strengthening the publicity for off-season tourism in low-risk tourist source destinations (Category II, 14 provinces), designing tourism products according to age and sex, and transforming short-term sightseeing tourism into holiday-oriented medium- or long-term tourism. These targeted suggestions can provide important practical guidance for optimizing the management and marketing strategies of local scenic spots in off-season tourism.

Key words: thermal comfort, Net Effective Temperature (NET), climate memory, theory of neutral state deviation, tropical coastal and island tourism, Hainan Province

CLC Number: 

  • F592.7