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Title: Modernity, sustainability and the development of heritage tourism in China's Shandong Province
Author: Yan, Hongliang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1002
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2009
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This study examines the relationships between the planning, development and representation of heritage for tourist consumption and the notions of modernity, identity and sustainable development in contemporary China. The study's approach involved developing a conceptual framework of issues related to heritage tourism and the notions of modernity, identity-building and sustainable development. It draws from theory and concepts of western literature and previous studies of China, and this was then applied to the case study. The study used a case study approach based on four heritage sites in Shandong Province in order to gain "deeper" insights and understandings of the phenomena being studied, including their basis in politics, governance, administration and socio-cultural issues. Qualitative methods were adopted and relevant primary data were collected through semi-structured interviews, document analysis and field observation. All these sources were analysed and interpreted through the use of a constant comparative approach, which meant that the interpretation was comparative, iterative and flexible. The research findings of this study demonstrate and explain the role of heritage tourism in mediating between modernity and tradition, development and sustainable development, and the local and the global. Actors from different social groups who had interests in heritage tourism development at the four sites sometimes shared certain views about modernity, identity and sustainability, but sometimes they held rather different opinions about these key organising ideas. The actors involved in policy-making and planning at the sites held some similar and some differentiated beliefs about the representation of heritage for tourist consumption, with this reflecting their varying interests in the past as a resource and in tourism development. The research findings revealed the tensions and even open contestation among the actors with interests in development of the sites. The agreement and contestation around heritage tourism could alter people's cognition and behaviour, including their overall notions of modernity, identity and sustainability. The study adds a new approach and new insights into the relationships between heritage tourism and notions of modernity, identity-building and sustainable development in China, which is shown to be an under-researched general topic. It demonstrates that the role of the state, political ideology, institutions, tradition, society and culture, and other external elements have considerable impacts on the presentation of heritage. It also indicates that the complex relationships between tourism and the notions of modernity, identity and sustainability are rarely stable; rather they often are mobile and dynamic.
Supervisor: Bramwell, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available