From central place to central flow theory: an exploration of urban catering

Xu, Faye, Zhen, F, Qin, X, Wang, X and Wang, F (2018) From central place to central flow theory: an exploration of urban catering. Tourism Geographies, 21 (1). pp. 121-142. ISSN 1461-6688

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The research shift from central place theory to central flow theory has demonstrated the influence of information technology on cities.The study explores this shift at the city scale of urban catering industry in Nanjing, China. A comprehensive set of indicators of EWoM for the catering industry has been established. Based on this,the spatial distribution patterns of catering industry in Nanjing, China have been discussed to examine the relationship of restaurants distribution and the central place theory or the central flow theory using a data analytical approach. The results revealed that the spatial distribution of restaurants’ density in Nanjing follows a traditional central place theory, but the spatial distribution of restaurants’ E-WoM in Nanjing rather follows the central flow theory. In addition, different characteristics could be found in different types of restaurants’ E-WoM distribution. Mainstream cuisine follows central place theory but is inconsistent in urban business districts, which demonstrate some characteristics of central flow theory. The distribution of E-WoM of non-mainstream cuisine is similar to the E-WoM distribution of overall restaurants,showing a central flow pattern. Finally, the implications of the study are drawn.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/14616688.2018.1457076
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tourism Geographies on 11 May 2018, available online:
Keywords: Central place theory, central flow theory, catering industry, spatial distribution, data analytical approach, Nanjing
Subjects: Hospitality and tourism > Tourism > Tourism development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Faye Xu
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2020 16:22
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:13


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