Tourism Livelihood in Ethnic Rural Communities: The Case of China

Authors: ZHE WANG*,
Topics: Tourism Geography, Development, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Livelihood, tourism, determinant, heritage, indigenous people
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A livelihood refers to the assets, activities, and capabilities of people in the process of making a living. It has been proposed as an actor-centered concept in understanding poverty in rural areas. Researches on connecting tourism and livelihood is yet a very recent trend. Empirical studies have implied that tourism can be an alternative or complementary livelihood for the rural communities. Gaps still exist in understanding local people’s livelihood in tourism, as well as the complex interactions between livelihood, tourism, and the local environment. Empirical studies of tourism livelihoods were conducted in the ethnic villages of two heritage sites with rice terraces ecosystem in China. Three research questions have been raised: (1) what are the tourism and non-tourism livelihoods in the study areas? (2) what are the determinants of local people’s tourism livelihoods? (3) Can interventions on local people’s tourism livelihoods change people’s choice behaviours on preserving cultural heritage? A mixed-method approach including questionnaire survey, in-depth interview and participant observation was applied in data collection, which was implemented in four fieldworks from 2016 to 2018. It is found that 15.75% of households in Honghe have tourism livelihoods and the figure in Longji is 64.85%. Seven determinants were perceived to be able to influence households’ accesses to tourism livelihoods. Structural Equation Model (SEM) was constructed using the household questionnaire data. The results show that tourism factors, human capitals, social capital, age structure, and household demography can significantly impact livelihood outcomes.

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