Interdependence and tension around cultural tourism in city destinations.

SU, Rui. (2014). Interdependence and tension around cultural tourism in city destinations. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Cultural tourism in cities involves cultural resources and the producers and consumers of those resources, with the integration of these elements resulting in different forms of cultural tourism and varied associated relationships. Culture and cultural heritage tourism often feature prominently in city-based tourist activities, and they can assist cities to achieve broad socio-economic and political objectives. Given the importance of urban cultural tourism, it is surprising that few studies have sought to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the processes and issues involved in its production and consumption. Instead, much relevant research focuses only on specific individual aspects or features of cultural tourism. The study responds to the need to understand urban cultural tourism through a holistic approach that also simplifies the relevant complex relationships.This research develops a holistic, relational and dialectical conceptual model in order to improve our critical understanding of urban cultural tourism. The model draws certain ideas from the circuit of culture conceptualisation of the assembly of contemporary material artefacts and from previous studies of cultural heritage tourism in cities. The central dialectic in the proposed model of urban cultural tourism concerns relationships of interdependence and tension. Urban cultural tourism involves much interdependence, such as between the production and consumption of tourism products, between culture and tourism departments, and between producers of cultural tourism products in the cultural and tourism sectors. Yet, there is also much tension involved in these relationships, such as between the preservation and commodification of cultural resources and between potentially different expectations of cultural tourism's producers and consumers. The model thus focuses on processes of interdependence and tension in urban cultural tourism.The applicability and value of the theoretical model is considered for the case of the city of Nanjing in China, a distinctive context for urban cultural tourism due to the city's rich cultural resources and the major changes in China's economy, society, politics and governance. The assessment is based on triangulation using a range of sources, including semi-structured in-depth interviews with industry officials and managers and tourists, observation, documents, photographic records, and social media.The research findings demonstrate the model's value, notably through its integrated approach, its focus on dialectical relationships of interdependence and tension, and the prominence given to four key relationships and their connections with each other and their context. It provided valuable new insights into the relationships in Nanjing between culture and tourism policies and between relevant government departments, between the public and private sectors, between the production and consumption of cultural tourism, and between the encoding and decoding of related messages. These relationships had to be seen as reflecting and affecting China's distinctive political, economic and socio-cultural context. Conclusions are also drawn about the wider applicability and value of the model for researchers interested in cultural tourism in other urban contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2014.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20409

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