Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 1101–1114 | Cite as

Ecological vulnerability analysis of Tibetan towns with tourism-based economy: a case study of the Bayi District

  • Ai-ke Kan
  • Guo-qing LiEmail author
  • Xiao Yang
  • Ye-long Zeng
  • Luobu Tesren
  • Jie He


This paper provides a generalizable mode for the ecological vulnerability evaluation for tourism planning and development in high mountain areas. The Bayi District located in southeastern Tibet is taken as a typical town to study the conflict between the protection of natural ecological environment and the exploitation of tourism resources. Based on the Sensitivity-Recovery-Pressure (SRP) framework, a set of vulnerability evaluation systems for plateau tourism regions were developed. The spatial principal component analysis (SPCA), remote sensing and GIS technologies were integrated to apply for spatial quantification of evaluation index system. The ecological vulnerability of the Bayi District was divided into five levels: potential, mild, moderate, severe, and extreme, and our results showed that significantly severe and extreme vulnerability areas were mainly distributed throughout the southwestern and central northern alpine pasture and glacial zones. Potential and mild vulnerability areas were mainly distributed in the vicinity of the Yarlung Zangbo River tributary basin. Then three tourism development and environmental protection zones were classified and appropriate measures for the protection were proposed. It also provides a reference for the spatial distribution of a range of areas that require different protection measures according to ecological vulnerability classification.


Ecological vulnerability Tourism area Tibet Spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) Moran’s I model 


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This research was financially supported by the National Key Technologies R&D Program of China (Grant NO. 2014BAL07B02), and the International Science and Technology Cooperation Project (Grant NO. 2011DFA22070), and the Tourism Youth Expert Training Projects in Sichuan province, China (Grant NO. SCTYETP2017L18).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of GeophysicsChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Resource and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Resources and Environmental EngineeringLudong UniversityYantaiChina
  4. 4.College of ForestryGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  5. 5.Institute of Science & Technology Information of Tibet Autonomous RegionLhasaChina
  6. 6.College of Tourism and Urban-Rural PlanningChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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