Tourism development of World Heritage Sites in China: A geographic perspective

Mimi Li, Bihu Wu, Liping Cai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

255 Citations (Scopus)


It is recognized that a conflict exists between heritage protection and tourism development, a conflict pronounced in developing countries. Against the backdrop of widespread exploitation of the World Heritage Sties to attract tourists, this research addresses the issue of the sustainability of tourism development at those sites. The study applies geographical tools in an examination of the geographical distribution of sites and their spatial relationship to tourist origin cities. Three major sources of threat that may compromise the protection of the heritage sites were identified, namely: population pressure, development policies of local economies, and a lack of financial support for heritage sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-319
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Population
  • Sustainable tourism
  • World Heritage Sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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