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Cultural landscape meanings

Cultural landscape meanings: The case of West Lake, Hangzhou, China
Cultural landscape meanings: The case of West Lake, Hangzhou, China Rouran Zhang & Ken Taylor


In this paper, we examine nuances in ways of seeing and understanding the World Heritage listed West Lake Cultural Landscape, Hangzhou China, through different eyes. The paper briefly introduces the current debate on claimed differences and convergences between Western and Eastern mind sets in heritage conservation and then moves into reviewing the human side of landscape. We then examine the perspectives of international heritage agencies such as UNESCO and ICOMOS and those of Chinese counterparts involved in the nomination and assessment process of West Lake for World Heritage Listing in 2011, and then review the perceptions of Chinese tourists. Underlying the inquiry are two fundamental questions. First, to what extent do international agencies understand the meaning of cultural landscape in a Chinese context? Second, what do Chinese tourists feel about a nationally renowned Chinese example of a cultural landscape in the international spotlight?

KEYWORDS: Cultural landscape, heritage, identity, memory, tourists, sense of feeling


  1. What do you think of UNESCO World Heritage Program criteria? Do you have any other suggestions for UNSECO?
  2. Can you compare the cultural heritage between the Eastern and the Western?

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International Culture and Tourism Management: Cultural Heritage and Tourism Management

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