by Echo Yu, Graduate Student, School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Stemming from ecotourism, sustainable tourism has been discussed for several decades in western countries. A variety of both empirical and conceptual studies related to this area can be found easily. However, for the Chinese tourism industry and its travelers, sustainability remains a new term and concept despite being a hot topic in recent years.
In comparison to a relatively long history of tourism development in western countries, China’s tourism industry only started booming in the recent one and a half decades. It is also true that environmental issues and social responsibility are typically the last issues being discussed; however, is it possible to inject sustainability at this early but rapidly-developing stage of Chinese tourism industry?