The contemporary tourism industry develops rapidly and involves a wider range of aspects (Fletche, Pforr, & Brueckner, 2016). Different factors have different effects on the development of tourism industry in tourist destinations (Fletche, Pforr, & Brueckner, 2016). The purpose of this report is to analyze the different aspects of Xi’an tourism. As the capital city of Shaanxi Province, Xi’an is a world-famous historical and cultural tourism city, and one of the important birthplaces of civilization and Chinese nation. More importantly, Xi’an is the political, economic and technological center of Northwest China. Therefore, it is of great significance to study the current situation of Xi’an tourism development. The purpose of this report is to analyze the main aspects of Xi’an tourism and study the current development of Xi’an tourism. This paper analyzes Xi’an Tourism from the aspects of tourism market, transportation development, accommodation, crisis and risk management, the role of social media in Xi’an tourism development and the tourism experience of attracting tourists. After that, according to the analysis of Xi’an tourism, the full text is summarized and discussed.
2. Tourism Analysis
2.1. Tourist Market Potential
The tourist market refers to the source of tourists from tourist destinations (Egresi, 2017). This report would mainly analyze young tourists which were the most potential tourist market in Xi’an. According to Egresi (2017), the analysis of tourist market potential of tourist destinations should be based on the analysis of tourist data of tourist destinations.
Figure 1 shows the number of tourists in Xi’an in recent years. The picture 1 shows clearly that the number of tourists in Xi’an increased rapidly from 2017 to 2018 (Tencent Daqin Network, 2018). According to Zhang (2019), the main reason for this kind of situation is the increase of the number of young tourists. Before 2016, the number of tourists was evenly distributed at all ages in Xi’an tourists (Zhang, 2019). However, after 2016, this situation has changed, and the proportion of tourists’ age distribution has gradually changed (Zhang, 2019). In 2018, tourists aged 20 to 29 tourists were 36.72% of all tourists, tourists aged 30 to 39 were 26.65%, tourists aged 40 to 49 were 17.58%, and over 50 aged were 13.09% (Zhang, 2019). At the same time, according to Richards (2015) and Zhang (2019), the proportion of young tourists in the global tourist market is increasing, which means that young tourists travel was more and more popular. Therefore, this report holds that young travelers constitute an important emerging tourist market for the development of Xi’an tourist market.
Figure 1. Tencent daqin network 2018.
2.2. Transport Development
Transportation infrastructure is a part of the functional needs of international tourism, and also was an integral part of the development of tourism destination (Khadaroo & Seetanah, 2007). According to Wang & Ma (2011), air transport has a close relationship with international tourism, and air transport has a stimulating and promoting role in the development of international tourism. More importantly, making full use of modern technological could help to develop transport planning and create conditions for the development of tourism, such as calculating passenger flow ahead of time, and scientifically managing the allocation of vehicles to help prevent traffic congestion caused by tourism development (Wang & Ma 2011). Khadaroo & Seetanah (2007) and Wang & Ma (2011) believe that transportation plays an important role in tourism development.
According to Qin (2019), the annual growth rate of tourism in China has been maintained at 15% to 18%. The development of tourism has become an important aspect of promoting national economic growth in some areas (Qin, 2019). According to Qin (2019), the development orientation of Xi’an tourism industry is international tourism destination, which caused that transportation would plays a key role in Xi’an tourism development. However, the development level of transportation in Xi’an could not fully meet the needs of the development of Xi’an’s tourism industry (Wang & Ma, 2011). Specifically, Xi’an tourism economy and transportation system are developing steadily, but the development level of Xi’an aviation and railway lines cannot meet the development of Xi’an Tourism (Wang & Ma, 2011). At the same time, Qin (2019) thinks that the construction of urban subway in Xi’an is too slow, and it is necessary to install public transportation more than twice to same scenic spots, and the construction speed of tourist transportation distribution center in Xi’an is slow, which cannot meet the increasing demand of tourists. Moreover, the development level of barrier free transportation in Xi’an is not high, which has caused certain obstacles for the disabled to travel in Xi’an (Wang & Ma, 2011; Qin, 2019). Therefore, this report considers that the transportation development in Xi’an presents a restriction to the development of tourism.
2.3. Accommodation Development
Accommodation is an essential part of the development of tourist destinations (Voicu & Albu, 2018). The quality and diversity of accommodation services would affect the development of tourism in tourist destinations (Voicu & Albu, 2018). According to Voicu & Albu (2018), the basic forms of tourist accommodation mainly include: hotels, hotel apartments, motels, tourist villas, hunting and fishing houses, bungalows, resorts, tourist stops, farmers’ hostels, and so on. According to Guttentag (2015), Airbnb was developing businesses due to modern Internet technology, allowing ordinary people to rent their residences as tourist accommodation, aiming to help tourists saving costs, provide family facilities and make tourists feel more authentic destination tourism experience. Therefore, Airbnb is becoming more and more popular in the tourist accommodation market (Guttentag, 2015). Meanwhile, according to the analysis of the tourism market (Look at the accommodation industry through big data about Xi’an, 2018), Xi’an’s average family travel demand far exceeds other new front-line cities in China, reaching 28%. It is precisely because of the characteristics of the tourism market structure in Xi’an tourism development, “Minsu” which was a type of accommodation similar to Airbnb ushered in a golden period of development ( Xi’an “Minsu”, 2019). At present, the development of accommodation industry is relatively unbalanced, could not meet the tourism development demand (Look at the accommodation industry through big data about Xi’an 2018; Xi’an “Minsu”, 2019). Therefore, in order to meet that demand, a large number of “Minsu” accommodation came into being. According to statistics, there were a total of 3000 “Minsu” style accommodation in Xi’an, and 20 thousand housing units, which grew by 50% over the previous year, ranking 10 in the country in 2018 (Xi’an “Minsu”, 2019). The number of orders placed was ranked sixth in the country by the government (Xi’an “Minsu”, 2019). This report holds that “Minsu” style accommodation plays an important role in the development of Xi’an tourist accommodation and has an important influence on Xi’an tourism.
2.4. Crisis and Risk Management
With the rapid development of contemporary science and technology, the social environment was changing fast. These changes would affect the development of tourism (Beljić, 2017; Gohar & Mansouri, 2018). Tourist destinations should not only pay attention to environmental changes but also respond to environmental changes, which prediction and discussion of crisis and risk analysis to take measures to solve the crisis (Beljić, 2017; Gohar & Mansouri, 2018). Tourism is a sensitive and vulnerable industry (Gohar & Mansouri, 2018). Natural disasters and epidemics terrorist attacks, and even social media all influence the development of tourism (Beljić, 2017; Gohar & Mansouri, 2018). Therefore, in order to manage the development of tourist destinations better, it is necessary to understand the possible risks and crises of tourist destinations (Beljić, 2017; Gohar & Mansouri, 2018).
This report finds that the main risk facing Xi’an tourism industry is excessive consumption of culture. Specifically, by the end of 2017, the spread of chuwan wine culture spread through the social media, which caused the number of Xi’an’s tourists has been rising rapidly (Xu, 2018). Moreover, many businesses pay attention to the attraction of culture to tourists, and use a certain culture to make publicity, however, they cannot show the charm of this culture (Xu, 2018; Zhang, 2018). This will increase the disappointment of tourists, which could cause that tourists don’t want have a second trip to Xi’an, and weak the charm of culture itself (Xu, 2018; Zhang, 2018). For example, after chuwan wine culture development, many kinds of culture in social media have been spread rapidly, such as the “net red food” such as “brush and crisp” and “traditional Chinese food” such as “meat red bread”, “mutton steamed bun” and “mutton steamed bread” are “reddening” (Xu, 2018). However, due to the lack of cultural management and the investigation of authenticity, the tourists who are attracted cannot feel the real cultural experience, but are attracted by this marketing method, which leads to the deviation of tourists’ understanding of this culture and the wrong spread of culture ( Xu, 2018; Zhang 2018). This over consumption of culture will reduce tourists’ trust in tourist destinations and reduce their interest in Xi’an ( Xu, 2018; Zhang 2018). What’s more, the excessive consumption of culture will cause the wrong transmission of culture, which may lead to misunderstanding and change of culture in the process of inheritance ( Xu, 2018; Zhang 2018). Therefore, this report thinks that the main risk facing tourism is excessive consumption of culture.
2.5. Social Media Influence
Social media coverage is wide, and could increase the interaction between consumers and operators, which easily arouse consumer curiosity and get succeed in publicity marketing (Mazilu, Sava, & Gheorgheci, 2016). Social media provides a platform for tourism management to interact with tourists, which could be helpful with increasing tourists’ awareness of tourism products (Rodrigo et al., 2018). Social media provides a propaganda and interactive platform for destination tourism development (Mazilu, Sava, & Gheorgheci, 2016). Focuses on Xi’an, as it shown in picture 1, the number of tourist visitors increased rapidly from 2017 to 2018 (Tencent Daqin Network, 2018). According to Dong, Yang, & Li (2019), the main reason for this change was that the traditional bowl throwing wine culture has attracted the attention of tourists through social media, thus cause the increase of tourist number. Tourists publish Xi’an’s traditional cuisine and traditional culture videos and pictures through social media platforms, which increase people’s attention and attract tourists to travel to Xi’an (Dong, Yang, & Li, 2019). According to statistics, as of April 2018, there were more than 610 thousand videos on Tiktok, and the total number of videos was over 3 billion 600 million times (Xu, 2018). Meanwhile, according to Xu, because of the extensive spread of Xi’an tourism culture in social media in 2017, the number of tourists increased by 66.56% during the Spring Festival in 2018, and tourism revenue increased by 137.08% over the same period last year. Therefore, this report holds that social media tools play a catalytic role in the development of tourism. Specifically, social media exists widely in people’s daily life (Bai & Qian, 2015). People are using social media to publish their dail lives (Bai & Qian, 2015). Among them, things with high attraction tend to spread widely and arouse people’s curiosity (Bai & Qian, 2015). Managers could seize this feature and use social media tools to publicize destination tourism culture and attract tourists.
2.6. Visitor Experience Development
In recent years, tourist experience has become the focus of the tourism destination management department (Lee & Smith, 2015). From the perspective of tourism destination management department, bringing different tourism experiences to tourists is helpful to attract tourists (Lee & Smith, 2015). At present, tourism departments are committed to make use of the unique advantages of the destination to create a unique experience for tourists, in order to attract more tourists to travel (Lee & Smith, 2015). This report holds that the two most popular Xi’an tourist experiences are ancient poetry culture experience and food experience.
Firstly, according to Cheng (2017), Xi’an was known as “poetry city” and ancient poetry is everywhere. Many great poets, writers and tourists have travelled to Xi’an in history (Cheng, 2017; Liu, 2016). At the same time, they left behind vast and magnificent poems and became the most valuable historical and cultural resources for Xi’an (Cheng, 2017; Liu, 2016). Therefore, the development of ancient poetry and cultural tourism is conducive to bringing different experiences for tourists than other cities.
Secondly, compared with the cuisines of other cities in China, the culture of the Xi’an cuisines is more authentic (Cheng, 2017; Liu, 2016). As time goes on, some traditional cuisines in other parts of China have disappeared, but most of the tradition food has been preserved in Xi’an (Food and tourism resources in Xi’an, 2017). For example, the mutton bubble has been completely inherited from the Qin Dynasty until now (Food and tourism resources in Xi’an, 2017). Besides, there are many kinds of dishes in Xi’an, which have their own characteristics (Food and tourism resources in Xi’an, 2017). It is suitable for a wide range of groups, but also has distinct cultural characteristics (Food and tourism resources in Xi’an, 2017). Therefore, this report holds that the main tourist experience of Xi’an tourism is ancient poetry culture tourism and food culture tourism.
However, combined with Xu (2018) and Zhang’s study (2018), this paper finds that Xi’an pays little attention to the poetry cultural experience and food experience of tourists. Specifically, businesses in tourism destinations mainly attract tourists through attractive traditional poetry culture and food culture, but they do not build and manage traditional poetry culture and food experience ( Xu, 2018; Zhang 2018). Therefore, the irregular cultural experience reduces the tourists’ interest in Xi’an, and the unsavory food reduces the tourists’ favor.
In order to achieve the purpose of this report, we analyze the main factors of Xi’an tourism development. Through literature review and personal observation of Xi’an tourism development, firstly, this report thinks that the emerging tourist market of Xi’an tourism development is young tourists. Secondly, the transportation development in Xi’an would play a promoting and restrictive role in the development of Xi’an tourism. Thirdly, “Minsu” style accommodation has become the favorite type of accommodation for Xi’an’s tourists. It has gradually become a new trend of tourist accommodation in Xi’an. Fourthly, combined with the actual situation of Xi’an tourism, excessive cultural consumption was crisis facing Xi’an’s tourism industry. Fifthly, combined with the actual situation of Xi’an tourism in recent years, social media has played an important role in promoting Xi’an tourism and was conducive to the growth of tourism and the development of tourism economy. Finally, the report considers that the cultural experience and food experience of ancient poetry are the two most unique tourist experiences in Xi’an travelling.
However, this report does not conduct real-place investigation and collection of tourists’ feedback on Xi’an tourism destination. More importantly, some opinions come from the author’s long-term cognition of Xi’an tourism. Thus, this report is little partial and incomplete.
The authors would like to acknowledge the research financial support from Xi’an Academy of Social Sciences (Program No. JG191).
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