Destination Brand-Building of Cultural Heritage Tourism

Destination Brand-Building of Cultural Heritage Tourism

Xing Huibin (Hebei University, China), Azizan Marzuki (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia) and Stella Kostopoulou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5187-4.ch015


Hebei province is a one of the most typically representative cultural destinations in China with abundant high-quality cultural heritage resources rooting from its more than 4000-year history. However, Hebei has still not evolved into a distinctive cultural brand in the tourism market even though lots of funds have been allocated and invested in tourism. The question thus is how to gradually build a successful cultural tourism brand vital to Hebei province. This paper first extracts the successful components from previous studies, and using France as the most celebrated cultural destination with the largest international tourism arrivals, comparisons are then made with Hebei from the perspective of destination branding of cultural tourism. Finally, given the practical conditions of Hebei and actual tourism needs of segment market, the paper proposes a conceptual brand-building model of Hebei cultural tourism.
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Cultural heritage has become increasingly one of the main attractions in tourist destinations, whether tangible parts or intangible ones (Bowitz & Ibenbolt, 2009) such as historical, artistic, scientific or lifestyle, etc. (Silberberg, 1995). Hebei province, located in the East-North of China (see Figure 1), has many kinds of wonderful cultural heritage resources. According to the 3rdNational Survey of Cultural Relics China in 2009, there are more than 33,000 immovable cultural relics in Hebei, including 3 world cultural heritages and 168 key cultural relic protection sites at national level, ranked third by amount in China. Additionally, there are 930 cultural heritage units under the provincial protection or above, ranked second in China. Besides, 3,780 sites are protected under the city or county. Moreover, there are 89 museums and memorial halls of different types with more than 900 thousand pieces of collections, including nearly 80,000 precious antiques. Thus, Hebei province tops the country in quantity and type of cultural heritages, of which many heritages have already been well known at home and abroad, such as Zhaozhou Bridge, East and West Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty, Mountain Resort, etc. These abundant and high-quality cultural heritage resources provide great potential for Hebei’s tourism industry.

Based on the rich cultural heritage resources, the cultural industry in Hebei enjoys rapid development with 31.7% of average annual increase from 2004 to 2009. In 2013, the increased value of Hebei’s cultural industry reached up to95 billion RMB with more than 30% of average annual growth and account for 3.25% in GDP. In 2014, the cultural industry brought 112 billion RMB increased value with 20% growth rate.

Figure 1.

The location of Hebei Province


Currently, relying on the cultural heritage resources (revolutionary Taihang culture, grand Great Wall culture, Yan and Zhao culture, pan-capital culture, and Bohai culture), Hebei has achieved rapid tourism development. In 2014, Hebei received 0.315billion domestic and foreign visitors in total and the total tourism income achieved 256.149 billion RMB, increasingly respectively by 16.15% and 27.43%. Additionally, protection of cultural resources in Hebei Province has recently been given major boosts with, for example, 0.2 billion Yuan allocation for protection of Shanhai Pass Great Wall, 3 billion Yuan for the restoration of ancient town of Shanhai Pass, 0.6 billion Yuan for protection of Chengde Mountain Resort and neighboring temple cultural relics,9.8 billion Yuan for the construction of Chengde Royal Historical and Cultural City, more than 100 billion Yuan for the construction of cultural tourism blocks such as Old Tangshan Street and Canal Cultural Street, and 100 billion Yuan for the construction of Great Xibaipo Revolutionary Cultural Base.

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