Main Article Content
Purpose: This study seeks to determine whether China’s coastal tourism industry can remain competitive in the long run under the blue economy ideology. Specifically, the motivations and perceptions of various stakeholder groups are explored to empirically test the generalizability of consensus of the current literature for the case of China, which tends to find that when the ocean becomes over-commercialized by the tourism industry, it can potentially lose its pristine amenities, which tourists are attracted to in the first place.
Methodology: Quantitative data was gathered through an online survey completed by both coastal tourists and residential stakeholders regarding their views, use and intended use of coastal resources, and tourism service characteristics. The data were analyzed using a series of statistical-based processes to determine the validity and significance of the findings.
Findings: This study concludes that the threat of overdevelopment is not impeding progress and need not result in overdevelopment based economic decline because coastal tourists and residents not only have overlapping desires but also have interchangeable identities.
Implications: By conducting tourism service quality management and by taking advantage of the blue economy transition, China’s coastal regions have the potential to satisfy both tourists and residents’ needs simultaneously.
Originality: There is ample research in the areas of tourism-based economic development and coastal area development, but there is a gap in the recent literature on the specific topic of tourism-based economic development of coastal areas in China. This study seeks to begin the work of addressing that gap.
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