River Tourism in China

  • Ralf Buckley
  • Travis Winn
  • Weiyi Li
  • Peter Winn
  • Linsheng Zhong
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)


Rivers attract tourists in China as elsewhere. There are four main types of river tourism in China: riverbank sightseeing, riverboats, river drifting (piaoliu ziyou or ziyou piao) and whitewater rafting (yeshui piaoliu or baishui piaoliu). The first two of these are large sectors, mass tourism activities commonplace worldwide. River drifting, ziyou piao, is an activity found only in China and operates at mid-scale, in Chinese terms. Active whitewater rafting follows international models and is currently small scale, but an important contributor to conservation of China’s Great Rivers.


Rafting Piao 漂流中国 Conservation Adventure Ecotourism Sightseeing 



Funding, support and/or other assistance is gratefully acknowledged from the following: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute for Geographical Studies and Natural Resources Research, Visiting Professorships for Senior International Scientists (Project Number 2013T2Z0012) and International Fellowship Initiative (Grant No. 2017VP03); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Number 41171435); the Australia China Council (Project Number ACC201200021); Earth Science Expeditions and Shangri-La River Expeditions; Prof Lu Zhi of Shan Shui; and Tang Jianzhong, Na Minghui, Adam Elliott and their many colleagues at Last Descents River Expeditions (漂流中国) for experience and insights into river tourism in China over the past three decades.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Buckley
    • 1
  • Travis Winn
    • 2
  • Weiyi Li
    • 2
  • Peter Winn
    • 2
  • Linsheng Zhong
    • 3
  1. 1.International Chair in Ecotourism ResearchGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Last Descents River ExpeditionsKunmingChina
  3. 3.Institute for Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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