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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Government, tourism developers, and communities appreciate the cultural significance of historic sites from varied viewpoints. This chapter aims to provide an effective lens through which to view the development trajectory of China’s cultural heritage tourism. A central thread is the relationship between cultural heritage tourism and the shaping of the public view of history, examined using the case study of Chengde, a World Heritage Site in China. The study provides insight into the contested use of the space by different parties through analysis of Chengde’s symbolic value in promoting ethnic diversity and enhancing national unity. Although the focus on the site’s cultural significance has resulted in a variety of public programs, interpretation of the site reflects values consistent with government objectives and commercial interests. The ability of the site to incorporate multiple perspectives in heritage interpretation is limited by underdeveloped community consultation and participation in the heritage management process.

Keywords: UNESCO, World Heritage Site, heritage interpretation, ethnic diversity, China, China Principles, Chengde, public history

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