Tourism development and changing rural identity in China

Lan Xue, Deborah Kerstetter, Carter Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 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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