Opening year - summer, 2016

Advancing destination sustainability through environmental social science








The U.S.-China Lab for Destination Development draws on years of collaboration involving tourism researchers, planners and managers in these countries. Housed in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (HDNR) at Colorado State University, the Lab continues expanding its network of global partners to carry out research and consulting work focused primarily on Chinese tourism and destination development, with an emphasis on destination prosperity and community wellbeing. Specific areas of interest for Directors Lina Xiong and David W. Knight include destination branding and sustainability, community empowerment, destination resilience, and protected area (including National Park) management.

Parent / Partner Universities

Colorado State University

Central China Normal University

Select Publications

Knight, D. W., Xiong, L., Gong, J., & Zhou, X. (2024). Why do the neighbors keep their distance? Evolutionary Psychology Theory and 2020 COVID-19 travel recovery in central China. Journal of China Tourism Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19388160.2024.2306211.

Branstrator, J. R., Cavaliere, C. T., Xiong, L., & Knight, D. W. (2023). Extended reality and sustainable tourism: Restorying human-wildlife relationships for biocultural conservation. Journal of Ecotourism. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2022.2055046

Zhang, C., Knight, D. W., Li, Y., Yi, Z., Zhou, M., & Zi, M. (2022). Rural tourism and evolving identities of Chinese communities in forested areas. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2022.2155829

Li, Y., Ouyang, C.-X., Zhou, S., Hu, Y., & Knight, D. W. (2022). Tourism dependence and poverty alleviation thresholds in Chinese ethnic tourism. Journal of Mountain Science, 19(10), 3026-3036. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-022-7479-2

Gong, J., Shapovalova, A., Wei, L., & Knight, D. W. (2021). Resident support in China’s new national parks: An extension of the Prism of Sustainability. Current Issues in Tourism. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2021.1890699

Xiong, L., Wang, H., Yang, Y., & He, W. (2021). Promoting resident-tourist interaction quality when residents are expected to be hospitable hosts at destinations. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 46. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhtm.2020.12.008

Knight, D. W., Xiong, L, & Gong, J. (2020). Impact of COVID-19: Research note on tourism and hospitality sectors in the first epicenter of Hubei, China. Int. Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. DOI: 10.1108/IJCHM-04-2020-0278

Li, Y., Knight, D. W., Luo, W., & Hu, J. (2020). Elite circulation in Chinese ethnic tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 85, 103030. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2020.103030.

Knight, D. W., Nian, W., & Chen, E. (2020). Launching an online graduate degree for tourism management in China: Lessons in Chinese-foreign cooperation. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism. DOI: 10.1080/15313220.2019.1707148

Gong, J., Detchkhajornjaroensri, P., Knight, D. W. (2019). Responsible tourism in Bangkok, Thailand: Resident perceptions of Chinese tourist behaviour. International Journal of Tourism Research, 21, 221-233. DOI: 10.1002/jtr.2256