Tourism development and changing rural identity in China

Lan Xue, Deborah Kerstetter, Carter Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


This study examines the patterns and driving factors of identity change amongst residents of Chongdu Valley, China, who have been experiencing tourism development since the mid-1990s. Employing semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this study uncovered four types of identity change in the community: (1) a transition from notions of rural hardship to notions of rural amenity; (2) a corresponding transition from a sense of rural shame to a sense of rural pride; (3) an overall rise in community identity; and (4) rural identity became less “rural.” Residents’ identity changes can be attributed to three factors: shifted government policies, improved living standards, and host-guest interaction. The findings suggest that material changes brought by tourism development can impact residents’ rural identity change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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