Harmonizing Heritage Preservation and Tourism Development: Travelers’ Perspectives on Chinese Urban Heritage Tourism

Lina Xiong, Marshall University
Clark Hu, Temple University
Xinmei Zhang, Fudan University

Copyright © 2012 the authors. All rights reserved.


Heritage is the historical remains from the past. According to Ashworth (1994), heritage is a major determinant of the character of a place due to the reciprocal connection between heritage and place. Because of such connection, heritage can provide modern visitors with an opportunity to appreciate, interpret, and communicate with the past (Jamal & Kim, 2002). Benefiting from unique cultural and historical value embodied in heritage assets, heritage tourism represents a significant component of tourism industry and attracts both domestic and oversea visitors from many countries (Garrod & Fyall, 2000). Besides the remarkable economic contribution brought by tourist spending, heritage tourism is also recognized as one proactive way to help heritage conservation, promote cultural identities of the local communities, and increase the status of competitive profiles for urban areas (Chang, Milne, Fallon, & Pohlmann, 1996; Jansen-Verbeke & McKercher, 2010).