Management and presentation of Chinese sites for UNESCO World Heritage List (UWHL)

Tao Wang (UCL and SOAS, University of London, London, UK)
Luca Zan (University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Publication date: 24 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the main UNESCO sites in China. The cases under study offer some insight into the complexity of the management of Chinese cultural organizations, as well as the problem of the presentation of China's heritage in a new global context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on field research in 2008/2009 on the Chinese sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List (WHL). While details of the research will be provided in a later stage, some interesting findings and patterns are emerging.

Findings

Building on the evidence of several case studies, a preliminary evaluation of the costs, the benefits and the negative outcomes of the listing process is presented in the second section. In a nutshell, the process appears to be increasingly expensive for local government and, despite the expectations for successful inscription onto the WHL, results in terms of increased tourism income are not always guaranteed. On the one hand, being listed raises the awareness of heritage protection among the general public but, on the other, there are also risks connected to tourism overexploitation.

Originality/value

From a methodological point of view the study points out the scarce quality of basic data regarding visitors and financial issues among Chinese World Heritage sites. This is particularly critical for sustainable development if it is considered that a World Heritage site should be accountable to the international audience. In the final section of the paper some open questions concerning sites' management models are presented.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, T. and Zan, L. (2011), "Management and presentation of Chinese sites for UNESCO World Heritage List (UWHL)", Facilities, Vol. 29 No. 7/8, pp. 313-325. https://doi.org/10.1108/02632771111130924

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.