Chinese Heritage Sites and their Audiences: The Power of the Past, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Chinese Heritage Sites and their Audiences

The Power of the Past, 1st Edition

By Rouran Zhang


272 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138624931
pub: 2020-04-07
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Chinese Heritage Sites and their Audiences provides a Chinese perspective on tourists’ relationship to heritage. Contributing to ongoing debates within heritage and tourism studies, the book offers insights into how and why visitors engage with such sites.

Drawing on interviews with domestic tourists, local residents and heritage officials at the World Heritage sites of West Lake, Xidi and Hongcun, Zhang argues that tourists have agency: when they visit heritage sites, they are doing cultural, social and emotional work, whilst also negotiating cultural meanings. Providing an examination of the complex interactions between locals and tourists, the author then considers how tourists navigate and interpret heritage sites. Finally, Zhang examines whether government or locally controlled tourism enterprise is more effective in facilitating meaningful cultural interaction between tourists and locals. Overall, the book demonstrates the interrelation between tourism and heritage, and the tensions that are created when the ways in which sites are used differs to the expectations of UNESCO and national or regional site managers.

Chinese Heritage Sites and their Audiences pays particular attention to ongoing debates about heritage performances, the importance of emotions and the agency of tourists and will thus appeal to academics and students engaged in the study of heritage, tourism, landscape architecture and anthropology.

Table of Contents


1. International Debate on Heritage and Tourism

2. Heritage and Tourism in China

3. The Chinese Sense of Heritage: the Nature-Culture Journey

4. The Chinese Sense of Heritage: The Nature-Culture Journey

5. Feeling a Sense of Place

6. Locals Reactions to Heritage Tourism

7. Discussion: Emotion, Tourist Agency and Heritage


About the Author

Rouran Zhang is a lecturer in College of Tourism and Service Management, Nankai University, China. He is a Chinese representative of the ongoing collaborative project of ICOMOS and IUCN entitled ‘Culture Nature Journey’.

About the Series

Routledge Research on Museums and Heritage in Asia

This new and thought-provoking series will provide researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners with the latest thinking on museums and heritage across Asia. With contributions from international experts, titles in the series will be relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including museum and heritage studies, Asian studies, tourism, anthropology, sociology and politics.

To submit proposals, please contact the Routledge Editor, Heidi Lowther ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General