2019-03-23 8:59:44      点击:

Investigation about The Business Operating Model of Eco-tourism Scenic Spots in Guangxi Province under the Context of New Media







目前对于生态旅游和商业运营模式的整合研究还比较少,尤其是有针对性的样本的研究,考虑到现在全球的微信 微博 facebook等社交网络比较流行,利用这些新媒体对生态旅游业的经营模式进行改进,推广,一定能取得比较好的效果。


  1. Background Introduction


With the economic development, an increasing number of Chinese people could afford travelling. Since the 1980s, eco-tourism has been gaining an increasing popularity (Munt, 1994). Under this situation, the operation mode of eco-tourism scenic spots is drawing attention from both the business circle and the academia. In order to strike a balance between economic profits and environmental protection, eco-tourism spots need to adopt a proper business operating mode. Business operating mode can be subdivided into investment & development mode, input-output mode, capital operation mode, management mode, marketing mode and risk management mode.  Therefore, taking ten scenic spots in Guangxi Province as samples, this project will explore what business models these eco-tourism spots should use, especially under the context of new media. Given that the current society is featured by rapid information transmission through new media, eco-tourism spots can also integrate the new media into their business operation, for instance, investment & development mode, the marketing mode, etc., so as to attain better results with fewer efforts. Despite that there have been a lot of researches about eco-tourism and its business operation mode, rare have combined this topic with the currently popular new media, which justifies the necessity of this project. Hopefully, through case study, this project will synthesize some constructive business operating modes for these spots, and even offer some reference for the future development of China’s eco-tourism sector.


This project will last about three years involving literature analysis, field investigation and paper writing. The final results will be organized into a paper containing six parts. Part one introduces the background, and Part Two summarizes the research questions and objectives. Part Three focuses on the relevant research results, while Part Four talks about the methodology. Part Five is about the research findings and analysis. The last part concludes the research and offers some recommendations accordingly.   


  1. Research Question


Given the above background, this project aims to explore how eco-tourism spots should adopt proper business operating mode under the context of new media, in order to fit the market and protect the local environment. This can be divided into four sub-questions as below.

  1. What modes are adopted by the sample scenic spots in Guangxi?

  2. What problems are facing these scenic spots in business operation?

  3. How do they engage new media in the business operating process?

  4. What measures can be taken to tackle the current problems?


Based on the above questions, the project will attain the following objectives.

  1. To understand the business operating mode in the sample spots involving investment mode, marketing mode, etc.

  2. To figure out the problems facing the business operating of these spots

  3. To explore the role of new media in their business operating

  4. To propose suggestions regarding the business operating model of these areas by combining new media.


  1. Literature Review


The concept of eco-tourism


The concept of eco-tourism was first put forward by D.E Hawkins, who was a famed American tourism scholar, in his book titled Tourism planning and development in 1980. In that book, he talked about the eco- and cultural tourism undertaken by some residents and communities in Canada. However, the early research was no more than descriptive. Afterwards, scholars began to concern the relationship between tourism and environment. In 1984, Dunkel and his team summarized the interactive relationship between two parties and emphasized the necessity to protect the environment in the process of developing the natural scenic spots (Dunkel, 1984). Further research was carried out, either through case studies or theoretical explorations. Ruschmann made a sample analysis of the eco-tourism in Brazil, which summed up the current status, opportunities and challenges facing this factor (Ruschmann, 1992).  Therefore, it was even concluded that “the international resort industry has the potential to become the strongest conservation force in the world, by developing “ecotourism” opportunities and experiences that comprise both environmental and cultural aspects of a destination” (Ayala, 1996: 46).


In particular, upon the entry into the 21st century, eco-tourism sector has drawn attention worldwide. For instance, on May 22, 2002, the first International Eco-tourism Summit was held in Quebec, Canada, which involved more than 1100 representatives from 133 regions and nations, who talked about the policies and plans for eco-tourism, the coordination between tourism and environment, the marketing strategies as well as cost control, etc. In line with this trend, there are many researches on this topic at home. Besides, the Chinese government has taken actions to preserve the natural scenic spots, through releasing policies, or establishing natural reserve areas. Following these, Yang (2004) detected that the natural reserves in China mostly shared such problems as lack of fund, the conflicts between production and development caused by poor regulations, unqualified management mechanisms, and so on. 


The business operation model


As for the commercialized operation model, there have been a number of relevant studies. However, there has not been a unanimously agreed definition, as it is a concept still under development and remains to be completed. Also, it involves a wide range of scopes, including seeking for fund, developing the enterprises, enterprise operating and marketing, customer relationship management and after-sales service, and so on. One of the recognized definitions is that it is a way to get profits (Lambert, 2003). Business operation mode attaches importance to business relations as well as the relationship between input and output. It clearly defines the relationship among different participants as well as their gains, costs and income flows, etc. In other words, a company relies on the business operation to make a profit, earn perspective customers and surpass its competitors, so it is more about how to make a profit both in the short and long term (Afuah, Tucci, 2000). In the meanwhile, as a newly-emerging area, it gains attention and is being widely applied in various industries. Under this context, it makes sense to integrate the commercialized operation mode with the increasingly popular eco-tourism development.


To sum up the above, there are a lot of research focusing on the topics, such as eco-tourism, business operation mode, yet few research has made detailed studies about the integration of both parties, especially through targeted sample studies. Moreover, given the fact that social networking such as Facebook abroad, WeChat and blogs at home, are becoming quite popular, there is point using these new media to attain better results in the business operation mode of eco-tourism sector.


  1. Methodology


Data and sampling


This project will engage both primary and secondary data. The former refers to the information obtained through field investigations, interviews, and observation, while the latter is about the previous literature, the website information of the eco-tourism scenic spots in Guangxi Province. As for the sampling method, this project will choose ten representative spots in Guangxi, such as Lijiang scenic spot, Huangyao Ancient Town, Xiushui Village, Xiazhou Yishui River, etc. The author will pay several field visits to these regions, in which process, the author will interview the tourists, the organizers of tourist teams as well as the management personal of these people. Also, the author will interview several officers from the local tourism office. Thus, the participants involved mainly fall into three groups, the tourists, the management people of the tourism spots and the local officials from the tourism administration. For each group, a set of questions will be designed, containing both open-ended and close-ended questions. Meanwhile, observation will also be a key method. The author will surf the relevant websites and observe the operation status of the scenic spots on site.




Secondary data can be accessed over the internet, through library books or other sources, while the primary data should be gathered through personal endeavors. As one of my fathers’ friends is an officer in the local tourism administration, it will not be very hard to interview several officers there. Besides, the author is a local in Guangxi province and thus much familiar with these areas, which decreases the difficulty in data gathering. Besides, with the help of social networking, the author can chat with visitors and the working staff online or distribute questionnaires online. All these are possible to ensure the smooth collection of the data required.


Ethical issues 


It should be admitted that there are some ethical issues involved. First, the participants may not want their names exposed, so all the information regarding the participants will be kept confidential. Second, the interpretation of the interview results may involve personal bias, the author will try to be as objective as possible, and meanwhile, invite the third party to supervise this process of data organization.


  1. Timescale


The timescale for this project is as below.

Research proposal and getting approval from the professors concerned: November 23, 2014 –December 30, 2014;

Collecting information to understand the relevant topic: January 1, 2015- May 5, 2015;

Designing questionnaires and distributing them online: May 6, 2015-August 5, 2015;

Paying field investigations and collecting first-hand data: summer and winter vacations from 2015 to 2017;

Reading the existing literature to critically understand this topic and having exchanges with my professors and peers: school season from September 1, 2015 – August 30, 2017;

Synthesizing the research data and writing the first draft: September 1, 2017 – November 15, 2017;

Submitting the paper for advice and making modifications: November 20, 2017- December 20, 2017;

Finalizing the paper and concluding all the results, December 20, 2017- December 30, 2017.