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Alike but different: four ancient capitals in china and their destination images

Fang Wang (NSFC-DFG Sino-German Cooperation Group on Urbanization and Locality (UAL), Peking University, Beijing, China) (College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Lijun Lu (NSFC-DFG Sino-German Cooperation Group on Urbanization and Locality (UAL), Peking University, Beijing, China)
Lu Xu (Chentang Technology Business District Management Committee of Tianjin Hexi District, Tianjin, China)
Bihu Wu (College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Ying Wu (NSFC-DFG Sino-German Cooperation Group on Urbanization and Locality (UAL), Peking University, Beijing, China) (School of Architecture and Art Design, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 19 September 2019

Issue publication date: 9 June 2020

332

Abstract

Purpose

Tourists’ destination image is crucial for visiting intentions. An ancient capital with diverse characteristics is an important component of China’s urban tourism. The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: what are the differences and commonalities of the perceived destination image of ancient capitals? What makes the difference of the perceived destination image in these cities? Aside from the exterior factors, are there internal factors of cities that influence tourists’ cognition and perception of destination image?

Design/methodology/approach

The comment text data of Baidu tourism website were used to determine the differences in the destination images of China’s four great ancient capitals: Beijing, Xi’an, Nanjing and Luoyang. ROST content mining and semantic network analysis were for differences and commonalities of the perceived destination image, and correlation analysis was used to explore the internal factors of cities that influence tourists’ cognition and perception of destination image.

Findings

Though the same as ancient capital, the four ancient capitals’ images are far apart; historical interests are the core of tourism experience in ancient capital city; image perception is from physical carrier, history and culture, and human cognition; tourist’ destination affect of ancient capital is most from its history and culture; protecting identity and maintaining daily life are crucial for ancient city tourism.

Originality/value

Previous studies on ancient capitals have focused on the invariable identity of ancient capitals’ destination images, and left a gap on determining from where the invariable identity comes in general and how much it influences destination image. This gap was addressed in this study, by analyzing the destination images of four ancient capitals in China as cases. In this way, this study provided reference to the other ancient cities worldwide.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Project of China (Grant No. 51778005) and by the Postgraduate Courses Project of Peking University (No. 2014-40).

Citation

Wang, F., Lu, L., Xu, L., Wu, B. and Wu, Y. (2020), "Alike but different: four ancient capitals in china and their destination images", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 415-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-05-2018-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, International Tourism Studies Association

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