SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (1): 10-18.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2014.01.10

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial Behavior Patterns of Domestic Tourists of the Zhujiang River Delta Metropolitan Area

Lin LU(), Yun-yun TANG   

  1. Research Center of Tourism Planning and Development/College of Territorial Resources and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241003, China
  • Received:2013-01-16 Revised:2013-05-16 Online:2014-01-10 Published:2014-01-10


Tourists’ spatial behavior is one of the most important research fields of human geography. The existing studies have focused on the tourists’ spatial behavior of single urban destinations and scenic spots, few about tourists’ spatial behavior in the whole metropolitan area. This paper analyses the domestic tourists’ spatial behavior patterns of the Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area, which belongs to one of the most developed areas of tourism in China. Though it is difficult to acquire practical data on tourists’ spatial behavior, tourist route is a good choice due to its convenience and completeness. Therefore, based on the national top 100 travel agencies’ itineraries of the main domestic tourist source markets of the Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area from 2009 to 2011, the paper describes a detailed study of the tourists’ spatial behavior patterns and the urban destination types of the Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area. Firstly, it is found that base-camp pattern and full loop pattern are the main spatial behavior patterns as a whole. Different tourist markets show different spatial behavior patterns. Tourists from Guangdong Province mainly choose single destination pattern and Hong Kong-Macao loop pattern, while tourists from the remaining markets mostly use other travel modes, such as base-camp pattern, en-route pattern, regional tour pattern and full loop pattern. Secondly, there is a big difference in the occurrence frequency of each city in itineraries, and it presents a three-level hierarchical relationship. In view of tourism destinations, Hong Kong and Macao are the most popular destinations with tourists which have the maximum occurrence frequency in tourists’ routes, up to 792 and 634 respectively. The secondary destinations selected by tourists of the Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area are concentrated on Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The occurrence frequency of these cities has reached more than 300. The rest of 6 cities are regarded as the third destinations because their occurrence frequency is less than 100. The type of different cities in itineraries is different between the Great and the Small Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area, as well as among the different markets. According to this, the spatial behavior pattern figure of tourists from each market is obtained. Finally, a comparison about the number of itineraries, spatial behavior patterns, along with cities’ occurrence frequency and their types is made between the Great and the Small Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan areas. We thus conclude that Hong Kong, Macao together with the Zhujiang River Delta region have gradually become a closely connected overall in tourism development, however, there still need time to realize tourism integration for this three places.

Key words: tourist route, spatial behavior, destination type, the Zhujiang River Delta metropolitan area

CLC Number: 

  • F590.8