This chapter discusses how urban tourism in China is progressively evolving, changing, assembling and reassembling, from a means to gaining foreign currency to becoming a driving force of economic revitalization in China. Specifically, the chapter elaborates on the four interlocking phases of Chinese urban tourism development, namely, the formation and initial development phase (1982–90), the expansion, competition and diversification phase (1990–2000), the reinforcement, decentralization and de-exoticization phase (2000–10) and the deindustrialization, digitalization and sustainability phase (2010–present). The chapter also elaborates on a range of intriguing issues that have been long embedded in the progression of Chinese urban tourism, including theme parks, Recreational Belts Around Metropolises, Recreational Business Districts, the Top Tourism Cities scheme, tourism real estate, industrial cities revitalization through tourism, smart urban tourism development and promoting sustainability through ICTs.
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