Tourism efficiency and quality of life in Chinese cities

Nicolas Peypoch, Yuegang Song, Rui Tan, Linjia Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the relationship between tourism efficiency at the city level and the quality of life (QOL) of residents. It focuses on assessing whether more efficient tourism cities in China, from an economic standpoint, also offer a higher quality of life for their residents. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 40 Chinese cities from 2010 to 2019 is analyzed. The study first employs Data Envelopment Analysis to construct a production technology and estimate the technical tourism efficiency of each city. Subsequently, a nonparametric statistical test of independence is applied yearly to explore potential relationships between the cities’ tourism efficiency rankings and their residents’ QOL. This latter is measured by constructing an index for each city following the OECD framework. Findings: The findings of the study are mixed, revealing no clear relationship between tourism efficiency and residents’ quality of life within the analyzed period. This suggests a complex interplay between economic efficiency in tourism and the broader social and environmental factors contributing to QOL. Originality/value: This study enhances the literature on tourism efficiency by investigating the relationship between tourism efficiency and QOL, an aspect frequently overlooked in efficiency evaluations. Our approach offers a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between economic performance in the tourism sector and the social well-being of city populations. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first instance where such a relationship has been explored at the city level within the Chinese context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jun 2024


  • China
  • Efficiency
  • QOL
  • Tourism city


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