This research aims to establish an index system and a grey comprehensive evaluation model for analyzing the sustainability of urban tourism.
The sustainability evaluation of urban tourism is regarded as a multi-level and multi-index evaluation problem in this study. The evaluation index system of urban tourism sustainable development is constructed based on the ideas of holism and systems thinking. Then based on grey system correlation analysis theory, a new evaluation model is proposed to effectively solve the complex and uncertain problems in the sustainability evaluation system of urban tourism. An actual example of the five cities (Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou) in Southern Jiangsu Province of China is adopted to demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of the proposed model.
The grey comprehensive evaluation model can effectively convert the complex indices into comprehensive optimal membership degrees which are easy to be understood. The empirical study on the urban tourism sustainable development of South of Jiangsu found that: Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi were in the basic stage of sustainable development; Changzhou and Zhenjiang were in the preliminary stage of sustainable development. The social responsibility fulfillment of urban tourism in five cities fails to reach a satisfactory level, especially Zhenjiang and Changzhou remain in a low level in fulfillment of social responsibility.
Due to the difficulty of data collection, the authors can only use the data on 2010 to do a static evaluation in this study. If the authors can have more data on different years, it is feasible to develop a dynamic evaluation model to analyze the evolution law of the sustainability of urban tourism.
The evaluation results provide the necessary support to assist the tourism management departments of the five cities with their policy making.
This study not only supplements the evaluation modelling methods widely used in the area of tourism management, but also promotes the development of the grey systems theory itself.
The authors thank the Academic Climbing Project for Young and Middle-aged Leading Academic in the Universities of Zhejiang Province, China (Grant No. PD2013275) for financially supporting this study.
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