An exploration of intangible cultural heritage values and their implications on yourism: The case of Kunqu Opera, Suzhou, China

Wen, Zhijiu (2019) An exploration of intangible cultural heritage values and their implications on yourism: The case of Kunqu Opera, Suzhou, China. Doctoral thesis, Nothumbria University.

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Based on the literature and taking the symbolic Chinese traditional intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as an example, the main aim of this research is to critically evaluate the values of ICH from different stakeholders, it offers an integrated approach to understanding ICH values, and attempts to extend the theoretical and empirical evidence regarding causal relationships including values, safeguarding and utilisation.
A sequential mixed-method research design was used where a qualitative phase (22 semi-structured interviews) preceded a large-scale survey (n= 525). The preliminary inductive phase generated new knowledge in the absence of adequate existing theory and guided the development of the survey instrument which was used to further investigate the preliminary findings.
Firstly, The qualitative study categorised ICH values into 6 major categories: Political value, historical value, educational value, aesthetic value, use value and non-use value; secondly, it categorised ICH safeguarding into 4 major aspects: government policy, documentation, inheritance and academic research; then, the qualitative finding also categorised ICH utilisation into 4 major categories: promotion, innovation, packaging, and branding. Additionally, the finding advised that the academic research is the significant determinant of ICH safeguarding and the packaging strategy is the most important part of ICH utilisation.
The findings offer further evidence that the historical values are a significant construct for the improvement of ICH tourism. It implies the significance of historical value to be a strategic objective and stresses the main construct in ICH tourism. This study finds that ICH value has an indirect influence on ICH utilisation via effective safeguarding measures. These findings make a significant contribution to theory by challenging the limited existing literature that suggests a direct influence. The fact is most of the ICH managers only consider if ICH is profitable and realise the ICH safeguarding is the responsibility of the government. Whilst supporting the limited existing literature, these findings provide novel insights that will guide future research on the ICH research. This research will act as a valuable theoretical base when future research is undertaken in this area.
From the managerial perspective, the findings provide advice for the future direction of ICH tourism’s improvement. The ICH managers can improve their presentation of history in intangible cultural heritage tourism for the purpose of developing efficient methods. Through understanding the relationships among value constructs, the tourism providers may better understand the ways to improve ICH tourism and promote the methods to maximise the advantages and minimise the destruction from ICH tourism. The findings are specifically beneficial to tourism providers since they offer directions to implement sustainable cultural heritage tourism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mixed methods, SEM, safeguarding, utilisation, relationships
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N500 Marketing
N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 08:05
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2023 14:45

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