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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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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Correspondence to Guo-qing Li.

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Kan, A., Li, G., Yang, X. et al. Ecological vulnerability analysis of Tibetan towns with tourism-based economy: a case study of the Bayi District. J. Mt. Sci. 15, 1101–1114 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4789-x

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Keywords

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