Exploring the effects of international tourism on China's economic growth, energy consumption and environmental pollution: Evidence from a regional panel analysis

Lei Zhang*, Jing Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explores the effects of international tourism on China's economic growth, energy consumption, and environmental pollution as proxied by CO2 emissions in a multivariate framework using regional panel data over the period 1995-2011. Our findings suggest that the tourism-induced EKC hypothesis does not exist in central China and is merely weakly supported in eastern and western China. However, results show that tourism has a negative impact on CO2 emissions in the eastern region, which contradicts with our perception to some extent. Panel causality tests show that the directions of causality in both short and long runs are mixed among regions. Nevertheless, our findings reveal that tourism causally affects economic growth and CO2 emissions in the long run, thus tourism led growth hypothesis is verified under all three scenarios. Our findings also suggest that in all three regions there is bidirectional causality between economic growth and CO2 emissions. Overall these results imply that low-carbon tourism in China should be continuously supported which provides significant insights to policy makers at various government levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4842
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CO emissions
  • Economic growth
  • Energy consumption
  • Tourism

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