The observed facts in the study areas tend to discredit their hitherto tourism development strategies in several respects: The role of tourism in local economic development is both sector-and area-conditioned. Tourism can be an important development factor for the tertiary sector and for relatively small areas. But, it is unlikely for a single tourism sector to playa leading industry's role in a rapid 'take-off' of the entire economy in areas of considerable population size. Thus, in a city like Guilin, local expectation of tourism as a short-cut to economic prosperity seems unrealistic.