Chinese and international visitor perceptions of interpretation at Beijing built heritage sites
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Research exploring visitor perceptions of heritage sites indicates that a site may hold different meanings for visitors depending on their cultural backgrounds. Little research has, however, identified visitor cultural preferences and so informed the development, delivery and management of on-site heritage interpretive experiences. This paper addresses this need by identifying cultural differences and similarities between Chinese and international visitors in relation to their interpretive motives, preferences and perceptions. Questionnaires were completed by 277 domestic Chinese visitors and 94 international visitors at five key Beijing built heritage sites. Differences between Chinese and international visitors' conceptions of heritage; ratings of importance of facilities, services and interpretive content; and perceptions of the visitor experience are identified. Amongst many findings, Chinese respondents were more likely than international respondents to state that heritage sites should be an important part of the country's national heritage, convey the country's power and be famous. They sought built heritage sites visited by someone famous and that feature in well-known Chinese paintings and poetry. International visitors were more likely than Chinese visitors to state that heritage sites should have authentically old buildings and be relevant to contemporary life. Implications for interpretive and management practice at Chinese heritage sites are discussed.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
© 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 12 Dec 2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2013.861469
Tourism not elsewhere classified