Ryan, C., Zhang, C. & Deng, Z. (2011). The impacts of tourism at a UNESCO heritage site in China – a need for a meta-narrative? The case of the Kaiping Diaolou. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(6), 747-765.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5472
In China, sites categorised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites are commonly used as a means of economic regeneration through tourism development. This study is of a recent addition to the list, the diaolou (fortified tower houses) of Kaiping, Guangdong, in South China. This rural zone, characterised by past emigration and farming, is in the early stages of tourism development. The study, based on interviews and a survey, permits findings to be compared with other rural areas in China such as Hungcun and the Tangyue Arches of Bao Village in Anhui, and thus while similarities in attitudes are found, in Kaiping differences exist whereby tourism has been found to permit entrepreneurial activities while retaining an agricultural base as the “new tourism rich” employ others to continue farming. The work is contextualised within a model of evolving literature related to tourism impacts on communities. The paper explores a range of issues in sustainable tourism, including the use of tourism as a tool for social, economic and cultural development, holistic approaches to heritage tourism, and the development of glocalisation as a response to globalisation. It discusses differences in approach to heritage tourism, cultural change and commodification between western and Chinese scholars and society.
Taylor & Francis
- Management Papers