Does High-Speed Rail Boost Tourism Growth? New Evidence from China
Tourism Management, 2019, 72, 220-231
29 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Jul 2019
Date Written: November 23, 2018
This paper evaluates the impact of high-speed rail (HSR) on tourism growth using China’s city panel data from 2004 to 2015. The empirical results from the difference-in-differences method show that HSR connection does not promote tourism revenue but does boost tourist arrivals, leading to a negative effect of HSR connection on tourism revenue per arrival; these results are further confirmed by the instrumental variable method to address the issue of endogenous HSR route placement, and by various robustness checks. Further investigation shows that the effect of HSR connection on tourist arrivals is heterogeneous. By connecting to HSR, less-developed central and western regions have attracted more arrivals than the developed eastern region, and cities with unique tourism resources, although they attract fewer arrival increase, gain more revenue than cities without those resources.
Keywords: High-Speed Rail; Tourism Revenue; Tourist Arrivals; China; Difference-In-Differences
JEL Classification: O81; L92; R41; Z32
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