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The Tourism Impacts in a Chinese Taoist Village, Mt. Qiyun

This research was undertaken between September and October in 2010, and examined the tourism impacts in a Chinese Taoist village, Mt. Qiyun, which is located at the Southern part of Anhui province. The village features beautiful mountainous scenery, deep Taoist culture, historic residential houses, a heritage of inscriptions on stones and cliffs left by famous poets and scholars, and the special Danxia landscape. Qiyun is a unique village that is not only a residential area but also a tourist area. The initial intention for tourism development in the village was to reduce poverty in the village because of the limitation of farming agricultural crops on the mountain. The research both surveyed visitors and residents of the village and the people who worked in the Management Committee of Mt. Qiyun and the Daoism Committee. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was used. The research surveyed 207 visitors and examined their original residency, the activities in which the visitors participated, visitors’ expectations and assessments about the visit, and visitors’ motives and satisfaction. Questionnaires were distributed at rest areas, restaurants, and hotels. Additionally, sixty-six usable questionnaires were collected from villagers that tried to find out the villagers’ perceived impacts of tourism in the village. There were approximately 150 residents in the village and some villagers usually live or work or study in the town or other cities, so a sample of nearly half of the population should provide a representative view. In addition, informal interviews were undertaken to survey villagers’ perceptions about tourism impacts in the village, and the vice-chairman of the Taoist Committee of Qiyun, people who worked in the Management Committee and an ex-governor were also interviewed to seek different perspectives on tourism impacts in the village. The visitors that were surveyed were mainly from the inner part of Anhui and the neighbouring provinces, which reflected the marketing goal that stated by the Qiyun marketing manager, namely: “target at East of China first and then promote nationwide”. Due to the residents still wanting more visitors and the capacity of Qiyun being able to receive more visitors, the promotion of Qiyun to a nationwide audience is suggested, but the scale of development should not be large because of the vulnerability of the mountainous area. More than half of the visitors that had been surveyed indicated they took photographs and purchased a meal in the village and less than half visitors stated they stayed in a hotel in the village, or purchased incense sticks and crafts. The finding indicates one idea for developing tourism products by integrating Hengjiang River and Yunyan Lake as a one tourism project as was recommended by the provincial government. When comparing visitors’ expectations and assessments, it was found that the village was as scenic as the visitors expected, but some visitors indicated a lack of Taoist atmosphere and there were complaints about poor infrastructure. Additionally, the Vice-chairman of the Taoist Committee also indicated that Daoism culture was neglected as a result of concentrating on tourism development. The findings relating to visitors’ motives indicate that the mixture of history and history of the village was the most appealing facet and a religious motive was scored as the least appealing reason for the visit. The scores on the visitors’ satisfaction scale indicates curiosity was not fulfilled and they did not learn much about Chinese heritage even though it was rated as the most appealing motive for visit. Thus, concentrating on developing and communicating Taoist culture is suggested. Most residents surveyed recognised the value of the village, their identity and the changes after developing tourism in the village. They stated they were the owner and the protector of the village and they believed that tourism brought more employment opportunities, improved the quality of life and the village infrastructure. Villagers indicated they wanted more investment on tourism development in the village and expressed their dissatisfaction with the current management authorities in 2010. Villagers generally perceived tourism as a positive development but very few villagers recognised the potential negative impacts of tourism. After living with poverty for a long time, tourism development has benefitted villagers, so that negative effects were neglected. However, in order to develop the village sustainably, economic growth should not be the only focus and other goals could include social well-being, religious cultural preservation and heritage protection.
Type of thesis
Wang, Q. (2011). The Tourism Impacts in a Chinese Taoist Village, Mt. Qiyun (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5708
University of Waikato
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