Heritage and tourism in China: Challenges and critical approach

Yujie Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the challenges of heritage and tourism studies in China. Current scholarship is often derived from Western sociological and anthropological concepts that might lead to a generalization or misrecognition of the complexities involved within the Chinese historical, social and political context. The question of how to mitigate these generalizations is, therefore, important in examining the dynamic landscape of heritage tourism inChina. By discussing several conceptual and methodological features, this chapter proposes a critical approach that is centred within Chinese problems and contexts. More specifically,I argue that studying heritage tourism in China should acknowledge the cultural history of heritage and tourism practices, the current geopolitics of nation states, and the emergence of individual romantic consumption that shapes tourism motivation and behaviour. Such an approach can contribute to critical global issues of heritage tourism without falling into the trap of Western-centric logics of dichotomies, such as real/fake, sacred/secular, and nature/culture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Heritage Tourism
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781789903522
ISBN (Print)9781789903515
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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