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The Relationship between Tourism, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Economic Growth in the Yangtze River Delta, China


  • Lingling Chen

    (Department of Tourism Management, Jinling Institute of Technology, Nanjing 210038, China)

  • Brijesh Thapa

    (Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8208, USA)

  • Wei Yan

    (Department of Tourism Management, Jinling Institute of Technology, Nanjing 210038, China)


Quantifying the dynamics of regional tourism in a low-carbon economy context is a pivotal issue to develop energy policies, and to decompose the national carbon abatement. Based on a case study approach for the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), China, the relationship between tourism, carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions, and economic growth were examined. The bottom-up approach, decoupling analysis, and Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition were integrated and applied. The results from 2001 to 2015 indicated that tourism-induced energy consumption and CO 2 emissions in YRD increased from 896.90 × 10 8 MJ to 3207.40 × 10 8 MJ, and 673.55 × 10 4 t to 2152.27 × 10 4 t, respectively. Tourism-related transport from Shanghai was the major contributor towards emissions. The decoupling relation between CO 2 emissions and economic growth, in general, were desirable in YRD’s tourism, except in 2004. However, the situation in Shanghai was complicated. Additionally, industry size and expenditure size effect were principal factors to promote carbon emissions growth, whereas energy intensity, spatial structure, and sectorial structure had negative effects. Key issues for policymakers have been highlighted and discussed.

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  • Lingling Chen & Brijesh Thapa & Wei Yan, 2018. "The Relationship between Tourism, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Economic Growth in the Yangtze River Delta, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-20, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2118-:d:153645

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    2. Rafał Nagaj & Brigita Žuromskaitė, 2021. "Tourism in the Era of Covid-19 and Its Impact on the Environment," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(7), pages 1-18, April.
    3. Muhammad Khalid Anser & Zahid Yousaf & Usama Awan & Abdelmohsen A. Nassani & Muhammad Moinuddin Qazi Abro & Khalid Zaman, 2020. "Identifying the Carbon Emissions Damage to International Tourism: Turn a Blind Eye," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-20, March.
    4. Asif Khan & Sughra Bibi & Lorenzo Ardito & Jiaying Lyu & Hizar Hayat & Anas Mahmud Arif, 2020. "Revisiting the Dynamics of Tourism, Economic Growth, and Environmental Pollutants in the Emerging Economies—Sustainable Tourism Policy Implications," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-23, March.
    5. Vyddiyaratnam Pathmanandakumar & Sheeba Nettukandy Chenoli & Hong Ching Goh, 2021. "Linkages between Climate Change and Coastal Tourism: A Bibliometric Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(19), pages 1-21, September.
    6. Sharif, Arshian & Saha, Shrabani & Campbell, Neil & Sinha, Avik & Ibrahiem, Dalia M., 2020. "Tourism, Environment and Energy: An Analysis for China," MPRA Paper 99985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Sharif, Arshian & Iqbal Godil, Danish & Xu, Bingjie & Sinha, Avik & Abdul Rehman Khan, Syed & Jermsittiparsert, Kittisak, 2020. "Revisiting the Role of Tourism and Globalization in Environmental Degradation in China: Fresh Insights from the Quantile ARDL Approach," MPRA Paper 101156, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2020.

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