Yan morrison2007jht
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Yan morrison2007jht






Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



0 Embeds 0

No embeds



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Yan morrison2007jht Yan morrison2007jht Document Transcript

  • JOURNAL OF HERITAGE TOURISM ARTICLE ID: HT 059 TO: CORRESPONDING AUTHOR AUTHOR QUERIES - TO BE ANSWERED BY THE AUTHOR The following queries have arisen during the typesetting of your manuscript. Please answer these queries. Q1 Bandarin, 2001 in text but Bandarine, 2002 in Reference list Q2 Chandler et al. (2002) not in Reference list. Q3 UNESCO (1972) not in Reference list. Q4 Where are these references cited in text? Q5 Please give full postal address (street, zip code) for Correspondence.
  • The Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings: A Case Study of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun in Southern Anhui, China Cheng (Grace) Yan Department of Recreation, Sports and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA Alastair M. Morrison Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA This research used Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun in southern Anhui (China) as a case to study the impact of World Heritage List (WHL) status on international visi- tors. The study categorised all the visitors into two types – WHL aware and WHL unaware – based on awareness levels of the World Heritage status of the destina- tion. The two groups were compared in terms of visit purposes, socio-demographics and other characteristics. The results showed that the World Heritage List status did have an impact on travellers’ visit decisions. Additionally, the World Heritage List status proved to be related to tourists’ visit purposes, activity patterns and socio- demographic characteristics. However, the World Heritage List status will be a more influential tool for destinations when marketers place emphasis on the underlying cultural contents of sites and make the cultural elements accessible and interpreta- ble for international visitors. Keywords: China, heritage tourism, Mount Huangshan, World Heritage List status Introduction Mount Huangshan lies in the south of Anhui Province, China. the property extends over a core area of 15,400 hectares. uNesCo inscribed Huangshan on its World Heritage List in 1990. Huangshan occupies a central spot in China’s artistic, cultural and environmental heritage. Huangshan, known as ‘the loveliest mountain of China’ (uNesCo, 1990), has been acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history. today, Huangshan holds the same fascination for visitors for its magnificent scenery of granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds. According to uNesCo’s definition, World Heritage sites (WHs) could be basically categorised into three types: natural, cultural and mixed (mixed being cultural and natural heritage). While Mount Huangshan was placed under the category of mixed heritage, uNesCo placed the ancient villages of Xidi and Hongcun under the category of cultural heritage on World Heritage List in 2000. the two villages are located quite close to Mount Huangshan and are graphic illustrations of a type of human settlement created during a feudal 1743-873X/07/03 001-012 $20.00/0 © 2007 C.G. Yan & A.M. Morrison HeritAGe tourisM Vol. 2, No. 3, 2007 
  •  Journal of Heritage Tourism period and based on a prosperous trading economy – the Huizhou period. the patterns of buildings and streets in these two ancient villages reflect the socio- economic structure of a long-lived and settled period of Chinese history (uNesCo, 2000). Blood ties linked the inhabitants living in the two villages. traditional customs are maintained, and there is a high degree of social stabil- ity. the ancient villages of Anhui are among the most characteristic examples of traditional Chinese villages. they are usually located at the base of a mountain, alongside rivers or lakes; they have regular spatial layouts of quiet, narrow alleys and picturesque gardens at the mouths of rivers. the architecture is simple, yet elegant, with unique forms of gables, delicate carvings and orna- mentation and elegant interior furnishings. the regional culture of southern Anhui is called ‘Huizhou Culture’, an ancient culture dating to around 600 BC. it reached its apogee in the 14th–19th centuries, when Anhui had a dominant influence in various aspects of Chinese culture, such as arts, architecture, culinary arts, music and the influential Cheng Zu (an ancient Chinese emperor) philosophy, which is an interpretation of Confucianism. the ‘Huizhou’ culture has a broad geographic scope including Mount Huangshan and Xidi and Hongcun. the two villages of Xidi and Hongcun particularly retain in material form many elements of this important Chinese culture. However, all historic cultures have been more or less eroded as a result of social development and modernisation. in the mountain areas of southern Anhui, family and blood ties are loosening and the influence of Huizhou culture is gradually diminishing. Xidi and Hongcun are two of the few surviving villages that have not undergone radical changes. the number of international visitors to these sites has been increasing dra- matically, from 2,205,000 in 2000 to 3,256,000 in 2004 (including taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao). Local tourism administrators and tourism enterprises are making great efforts to market cultural heritage tourism products, especially to international visitors. However, there is no available research focusing on the World Heritage status of the three places and the impact of this status on inter- national visitations in Xidi, Hongcun and Huangshan. Literature Review Properties selected for inscription on the World Heritage List are considered the foremost natural and cultural wonders of the world. such is the significance of World Heritage status that WHs have been described as ‘magnets for visitors’ and World Heritage designation ‘virtually a guarantee that visitor numbers will increase’ (shackley, 1998). Bandarin (2001) stated that it is an inevitable destiny Q1 that the very reasons a property is chosen for inscription on the World Heritage List are also the reasons millions of tourists visit these sites. Although it is often suggested that World Heritage status increases the popularity of a location or destination, Hall and Piggin (2001) found that the link between the WHs status and increased visitation above existing tourism trends is somewhat tenuous. they also suggested that the intrinsic qualities of the place itself might be a major factor in tourist visitation to the area, with World Heritage status having only a marginal effect on visitor numbers or relative attractiveness (Hall & Piggin, 2002). since the inception of the World Heritage List, there have been considerable discussions about issues such as the conservation of World Heritage sites, the
  • Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings  management of the sites and the educational benefits brought by tourism to heritage sites. Although these complexities have invoked discussions in both the academic and popular literature, little empirical analysis has been done on the tourism marketing and promotion of WHs (Hall & Piggin, 2002). the under- lying relationship between the World Heritage List and tourism was made explicit by uNesCo itself in 1976, which described tourism as ‘more than an economic phenomenon with social and cultural effects, has become a phenomenon of civilization’ (uNesCo). it was suggested that the profits generated by tourism activities would improve the preservation of such sites, create new jobs, better educate local people and promote greater public aware- ness of the sites’ cultural or natural values, thereby increasing the chances of future preservation (Nicholls & Vogt, 2004). At many WHs, developing tourism is the only alternative to overcome current poor economic situations. Despite this, Hall and Piggin (2002) found the majority of affected tourism businesses in New Zealand were not capitalising on their proximity to WHs in their promo- tions. therefore, what roles should World Heritage listings actually play for destinations in attracting visitors? in addition, there also seems to be a substan- tial gap between the knowledge on the interplay of the intrinsic qualities of WHs and the associated values among visitors. What does a World Heritage listing mean to visitors and how important is this as a travel motivation? Many studies have found that heritage tourists tend to have distinctive socio- demographic characteristics compared with other travellers. Light et al. (1994) described heritage tourists as being middle class, well educated, middle aged, with no children, on holiday away from home and having a prior knowledge of history. Previous research has also revealed that heritage tourists tend to stay longer (4.7 vs. 3.3 nights), spend more money per trip ($615 vs. $425) and have higher average annual incomes ($42,133 vs. $41,455) (Kerstetter et al., 2001). Q2 Chandler et al. (2002) showed heritage tourists made more frequent use of travel information sources such as visitor centers, maps, highway signs, brochures and pamphlets. However, there is little available research on the linkage between the appreciation of WHs and visitors’ socio-demographic characteris- tics and activity patterns. For example, are there significant socio-demographic differences between visitors who are fully aware of the importance of World Heritage listing and visitors who have no such knowledge? Moreover, do the visitors with World Heritage awareness tend to participate in more heritage- and cultural-related activities within a destination? Research Objectives the main research objectives of this study were two-fold. the first was to determine the influence of the World Heritage status of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun on international visitors’ travel decisions. the second was to compare the trip characteristics, socio-demographic profiles and activity preferences among international visitors according to awareness levels of these World Heritage listings. Five specific research objectives were identified: (1) to explore the awareness levels of World Heritage listings for Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun among international visitors and then to divide them into two awareness groups – ’aware’ and ‘unaware’.
  •  Journal of Heritage Tourism (2) to investigate the relationship between visitors’ awareness of the World Heritage List status and their decisions to come to this part of southern Anhui. (3) to study the relationship between the knowledge of the World Heritage status and tourists’ visit purposes. (4) to profile these two groups of visitors and compare them in terms of socio- demographic and trip characteristics. (5) to analyse the association of awareness levels and activity patterns of the two groups of international visitors. Methods the study used data from the International Visitor Survey for Huangshan, Xidi  and Hongcun in 2005. interviews were conducted in Huangshan international Airport, Huangshan train station and local hotels with departing international visitors from 2 July to 30 July. A total of 879 interviews were completed and the respondents came from 41 different countries. the research utilised sPss to analyse the data. the data were first segregated into travel parties who were aware of the destinations’ World Heritage List status and those unaware by using the survey question, ‘Did you know Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun were placed on uNesCo’s World Heritage List before you came?’ Visitors who gave an affirmative answer were identified as belonging to the first group. then, this group of visitors was also asked to indicate the degree of the influence of the destinations’ World Heritage List status had on their visit decisions from ‘significantly’ to ‘somewhat’ to ‘not at all’. in that way, they were categorised into three groups labelled as ‘significantly influenced’, ‘somewhat influenced’ and ‘not influenced’, respectively. Furthermore, the study combined the ‘significantly influenced’ and ‘somewhat influenced’ into one group ‘influ- enced’ to compare with a ‘not influenced’ group. Later, logistic regression analysis was employed to explore the relationship between the awareness of the prestige of the destination’s World Heritage status and its influence on people’s visit decisions. in the interviews, respondents were asked to identify the tourism activities they participated in during their visits. Chi-square tests were used to compare the activity participation patterns between the different groups. those who participated in culture and heritage related activities were also asked to give their satisfaction evaluations by choosing a number from 1 to 5, where 1 meant poor and 5 was excellent. to investigate satisfaction levels with tourism activi- ties, ANoVA tests compared the mean scores of different groups. Chi-square tests were used to detect significant differences in the socio-demographic and trip characteristics of the groups. Findings The influence of World Heritage status on visitors’ decisions to come to Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun Among respondents who answered the particular question (n 5 685, 77.9%), some 285 (41.6%) visitors were aware of the World Heritage listings, and 400
  • Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings  (58.4%) were unaware of them. Within the ‘aware’ group, 200 (67.1%) were influenced by the message that Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun were listed as WHs. these figures indicated that the knowledge of World Heritage listing had a moderate effect, rather than a dramatic one on visitors’ decisions. this was further illustrated in that 45% of the ‘aware’ visitors said that this knowledge ‘somewhat’ influenced their decision in making the trips, while only 22% responded that the knowledge had a significant impact. A simple linear regression formula was developed to measure the influence degree brought by the destinations’ World Heritage List status among interna- tional visitors: Y(influence) = 0.774-1.025*X(awarencess) independent variable ‘X’ had two possible values and they were ‘0’ and ‘1’. the value ‘0’ designated ‘awareness’ and ‘1’ was ‘no awareness’. When X equalled 0, dependent variable Y turned out to be 0.774; when X equalled 1, Y became -0.251 correspondingly. to interpret the two results, it should also be noted that ‘Y 5 1’ means ‘being influenced’ and subsequently, ‘Y 5 0’ is the same with ‘not being influenced’. this regression formula was examined by ANoVA test, and both the intercept ( p 5 0.000) and the slope ( p 5 0.049) proved to be significant. this model had dual meanings. First, tourists’ visit decisions were positively influenced by the knowledge of the destinations’ World Heritage status. that could be explained by the Y value increasing with X went from ‘no awareness’ to ‘awareness’. second, despite the two being positively related, the influence of the knowledge was rather subtle. even for people who recognised the World Heritage status of the destinations, the influence level on their visit decisions was less than ‘1’. the perception of WHs did not have a large impact on visitors’ decision-making processes. World Heritage List status and tourists’ visit purposes in terms of specific visit purposes, respondents were found to be significantly different in ‘Huizhou culture and heritage’ ( p 5 0.000). Although the overall level of visiting for the primary purpose of Huizhou culture and heritage was low, the connection between being aware of the destinations’ World Heritage listing and being interested in participating in local culture and heritage tourism activities was quite salient. the WHs aware visitors were more likely to have the purpose of participating in Huizhou culture and heritage activities than the WHs unaware group (20.1% versus 10.5%) (see table 1). Conversely, the WHs unaware group had stronger motivation to climb Mount Huangshan. the p-value for the difference between the two groups was 0.57, which was close to being a significant value at the level of α 5 0.05 (see table 2). World Heritage List status and tourism activities the visitors with knowledge about the destinations’ World Heritage List status were found to be more likely to participate in local folklore cultural activi- ties ( p 5 0.006). However, the two groups of visitors displayed very similar satisfaction levels with this particular type of tourism activity. the WHs
  •  Journal of Heritage Tourism Table 1 Knowledge of World Heritage List status and Huizhou culture and heritage Heritage purpose Knowledge of WHL Not aware Aware No Count 357 226 % Within purpose of heritage 61.2 38.8 % Within knowledge of WHL 89.5 79.9 % of total 52.3 33.1 Yes Count 42 57 % Within purpose of heritage 42.4 57.6 % Within knowledge of WHL 10.5 20.1 % of total 6.2 8.4 total Count 399 283 Table 2 Knowledge of World Heritage List status and climbing Mt Huangshan Climbing Knowledge of WHL Huangshan Not aware Aware No Count 67 64 % Within purpose ofclimbing 51.1 48.9 % Within knowledge of WHL 16.8 22.6 % of total 9.8 9.4 Yes Count 332 219 % Within purpose of climbing 60.3 39.7 % Within knowledge of WHL 83.2 77.4 unaware group even had a slightly higher mean score of 3.28 compared to the WHs aware group’s mean value 3.18. this result showed that there was not a positive relationship between participation in folklore cultural activities and satisfaction levels among the visitors. this leads to some intriguing questions. the knowledge of World Heritage status definitely seemed to attract people to get involved in the local folklore cultural activities that could be considered representative of Huizhou culture and heritage. But did those who were aware of the great reputations of WHs have higher expectations, and the real experi- ences failed to reach their ‘idealised’ standards? in that sense, was the World Heritage status really a helpful tool in facilitating local heritage tourism devel- opment? According to Kotler et al. (2005), ‘customer satisfaction depends on a
  • Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings  product’s perceived performance in delivering value relative to a buyer’s expec- tations. if the product’s performance falls short of the customer’s expectations, the buyer is dissatisfied’. if the buyers are not satisfied, they may not make the same purchasing choice again. therefore, the first-time visitors to Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun are less likely to become repeat visitors if their expectations are not met. A similar situation was found for ‘visiting historical ancient buildings’ and ‘appreciating traditional Chinese calligraphies and paintings’. in these two cases, ‘not influenced’ visitors had higher satisfaction scores than ‘influenced’ visitors. the significant level for the two group of visitors for ‘visiting historical ancient buildings’ was 0.005 with the mean score of the ‘influenced’ group being 3.70 and the ‘not influenced’ being 4.12. As for ‘appreciating traditional Chinese calligraphies and paintings’, the p-value was 0.006 and the two means were 3.56 and 4.08, respectively. Again, the results cast doubt on the role that World Heritage listing actually played in heritage tourists’ visits if they could not have satisfactory experiences. Socio-demographic characteristics of visitors Visitors who were knowledgeable of the destination’s World Heritage status were found to be significantly different in terms of: travel party, region, trip type, possibility of coming back and times have been to Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun. Visitors traveling alone tended to be more aware of the World Heritage status of the destinations ( p 5 0.021). this result was consistent with the findings for ‘trip type’ in that independent tourists were generally more aware of the World Heritage status of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun than package tourists. the results showed that 44.7% of independent travellers were in the WHL aware group versus 37.0% of package trip members. the visitors from south Korea and Japan had much higher awareness of the destinations’ World Heritage status than visitors from other parts of the world. to substantiate the hypothesis that Korean and Japanese visitors were also more likely to be influenced by the World Heritage listings, an analysis was done on the relationship between the degree of influence degree and visitors’ origins. the four regions (North America; south Korea and Japan; europe; other) differed significantly on influence patterns, with p-value equal to 0.000 some 85.3% of the Korean and Japanese visitors were influenced by the infor- mation on the destinations’ World Heritage status. some 71.1% of the WHs aware visitors expressed the intention to revisit Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun. only 57.5% of the WHs unaware visitors gave that answer. this contrast showed that the World Heritage listing was an important reason for tourists to intend to revisit. so, in spite of the WHs aware group’s lower satisfaction evaluations of tourism activities, they still displayed stronger revisit intentions than the WHs unaware group. one might wonder if visitors’ satisfaction levels could be raised higher, the incentives for a repeat visit would grow as well. Besides, repeat visitors had considerably higher awareness levels of the destinations’ World Heritage status. some 80% of them were WHL aware, only 40.2% of first-time visitors knew about the World Heritage List status of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun (table 3).
  •  Journal of Heritage Tourism Table 3 Comparisons of socio-demographic characteristics of visitors Socio-demographics Aware Not aware p-Value travel party travel alone 53.1% 46.9% 0.021 travel with 39.5% 60.5% other region North 28.6% 71.4% 0.000 America south Korea 51.1% 48.9% & Japan europe 42.5% 57.5% others 43.2% 56.8% trip type independent 44.7% 55.3% 0.025 Package 37.0% 63.0% Possibility of Very likely 55.3% 44.7% 0.000 coming back Likely 41.7% 58.3% Not sure 32.2% 67.8% unlikely 34.0% 66.0% times have None 40.2% 59.8% 0.000 been here one time and 80.0% 20.0% above Conclusions World Heritage is ‘of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science’ (uNesCo, 1972). this study examined the influence of Q3 World Heritage inscription on international visitors using Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun of southern Anhui, China as a case study. this study developed a simple linear regression model to describe the relationship between visitors’ awareness of the destinations’ World Heritage status and influence on visit decisions. the results showed that awareness did motivate people to come but it did not appear to be a very strong influence. this finding corroborated the arguments of Hall and Piggin (2001) that the link between World Heritage listings and increased visitation was in fact not as strong as the stakeholders and tourism business owners expected. the intrinsic cultural assets, the foremost natural wonders and the unique experiences the WHs provide, are the real incentives to attract international visitors. this impli- cation holds particular concern for Chinese stakeholders. China has 31 World Heritage sites located all over the country. However, there is a common misconception among site managers and tourism business owners that once a tourism attraction is ‘glazed’ with the glory of a World Heritage listing, the
  • Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings  visitors, especially international visitors, will flow in automatically. As a result, not enough attention has been paid to emphasise the true inherent content and quality of these sites. this case study of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun revealed that there is still much work that has to be done to engrave the real images of WHs into international visitors’ minds. the awareness of World Heritage status was found to be related to tourists’ visit purposes. People who were not aware of the World Heritage listing were more inclined to climb Mount Huangshan, while knowledgeable visitors were more interested in Huizhou cultural and heritage activities. the reason for this phenomenon could be traced back to the special cultural and natural attributes of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun. WHs have been categorised by uNesCo into three types based on their distinctive assets: natural, cultural and mixed. Huangshan was considered to belong to the ‘mixed’ type of site, which meant that both the natural and cultural aspects of Huangshan were perceived to be possessing outstanding and long-lasting values. However, it should be noted that ‘its natural values then are predominant over the cultural’ (iuCN, 1990). For the most part, the high esteem of the culture of Huangshan is credited to history, Chinese poems and paintings. Huangshan has been deemed as a typical image in Chinese traditional landscape paintings (eigner, 1939; Hers, 1935). therefore, the cultural aspects of Huangshan are to a large extent very intangible. For people who do not have sufficient knowledge to understand ancient Chinese poems and the aesthetic values of traditional Chinese paintings, the culture underlying Huangshan is obscure and hard to master. unfortunately, this seems to be true for most international visitors except for some of the Japanese and Koreans tourists whose culture to some extent shares some similarities. For these reasons, Huangshan has been typified as an image of ‘a Chinese mountain with great scenery’ on a global scale. the cultural aspects of Huangshan appear to pale in comparison to its natural features for most visitors. this might help explain why those unaware of the World Heritage status of Huangshan did not show a strong interest in participating in culture and heritage activities because in their minds, Huangshan was a predominantly natural and scenic attraction, where climbing to the top was the main priority. Another contributing reason is that the lack of sufficient efforts to market Xidi and Hongcun by the stakeholders and tourism business owners. the two sites have been positioned by the local government mainly as ancillary attrac- tions to Huangshan for people visiting the whole region long before the two were placed on the World Heritage List. Compared to Huangshan, the culture of Xidi and Hongcun are more tangible such as the unique styles of architecture and artifacts. However, the parts of culture related to Chinese history such as ‘the ancestral system of the region’ still demands a good understanding of Chinese society and history. this type of culture, together with many other types of traditional Chinese cultures that were largely and deeply influenced by Confucianism, is a conservative and introverted one. For people who were not raised within Chinese society, it is difficult to understand even superficially. Nevertheless, the external aesthetic beauty of the two ancient towns, the delicate man-made artifacts and the well-preserved folklore traditions still present appealing attractions for people who are both culturally distant and culturally similar to these places. After 2000 when uNesCo inscribed them on the World
  • 0 Journal of Heritage Tourism Heritage List for their outstanding cultural values, the local stakeholders and tourism business owners did not react in the most appropriate way. the two villages were not separated from the packaged ‘Huangshan-Xidi and Hongcun’ tour. Huangshan was still treated as the dominant tourism attraction in the region and Xidi and Hongcun are still on a secondary level. Nearly all of the tourism activities offered by Xidi and Hongcun are related to culture and herit- age such as ‘visiting ancient historical buildings’ and ‘participating in local folk- lore cultural activities’. However, the people unaware of the World Heritage status of Xidi and Hongcun also did not know about the culture and heritage tourism activities there. As such, they were very unlikely to consider culture and heritage activities as a primary purpose of visiting. the special intrinsic attributes of Huizhou culture could also explain why the WHs aware group generally had a higher participation ratio in several specific culture and heritage activities but lower satisfaction levels. Because of the prestige that the World Heritage List holds, visitors who were aware of the destinations’ WHs status might presumably have higher expectations. However, the obscurity of Huizhou culture may have made their experiences not as satis- factory and exciting as they expected. Although the two groups of visitors might have had similar tourism experiences in Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun, the WHs aware group was not equally satisfied. this problem calls for local stake- holders and tourism business owners’ to give more, better and specific interpre- tations of the content of Huizhou culture and heritage. if this culture and heritage could be made more accessible and understandable for foreign visi- tors, the international image of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun would be greatly enhanced. Moreover, failures to meet customers’ expectations will eventually deter international visitors from coming. Moscardo et al. (2001) pointed out that interpretation combines elements of communication, education and entertain- ment together and it has the aim of assisting visitors to appreciate the place they are visiting. so the solution to the problem appears to be two-fold. First, there is a need to market the three destinations more effectively using the World Heritage status as the core attraction. second, visitors must gain more under- standing and appreciation of the contents of culture and heritage of the destina- tions through more effective interpretation. there are several marketing implications resulting from the socio-demographic characteristics of the WHs aware group of visitors. the Korean and Japanese visi- tors had much higher awareness of the World Heritage status of the destinations and were more likely to be positively influenced by these designations. it is suggested the marketers should put greater emphasis on advertising the WHs status of the destinations to these two markets. in addition, there existed a strong positive relationship between visitors’ awareness levels of the WHs status and intentions for revisiting. Prompt action is required to raise the international awareness levels of the World Heritage List inscriptions of Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun, especially since 80% of repeat visitors were aware recognition of the WHs status of the destinations. independent travellers also tended to be more knowledgeable of the WHs status, perhaps having made more prior effort to become familiar with the destinations. Local stakeholders and tourism busi- ness owners should give greater attention to these independent travellers. in contrast, tour operators and travel agencies organising group tours are short
  • Influence of Visitors’ Awareness of World Heritage Listings  of information of the destinations’ World Heritage listing, or lack interest in promoting it heavily. this issue also requires immediate thought and attention. in summary, the World Heritage status appears to be a significant asset to support destination marketing. However, sites cannot completely depend on their listing to attract visitors. Moreover, site managers and marketers must provide more thorough and professional interpretation of the underlying culture to help visitors better comprehend what they are experiencing. in fact, it is the intrinsic content and quality of the sites that really matters rather than the listing itself. the findings of this study provide important insights for mar- keting and managing other WHs such as Macao. Further research is needed on different types of WHs in other countries to more fully explore the impact of World Heritage status on visitor motivations and satisfaction. Acknowledgements the authors would like to express sincere gratitude to the Department of tourism Management of Anhui university (China) for helping to collect the data and providing a part of the funds. the authors especially would like to thank Professor shangzheng Zhang of the Department of tourism Management at Anhui university for his great contribution to the completion of the on-site sur- veys in Huangshan, Xidi and Hongcun. the authors also thank the Anhui tourism Administration and Huangshan international Airport for their assistance. Correspondence Any correspondence should be directed to Cheng Yan Department of Q5 recreation, sports and tourism, university of illinois at urbana-Champaign, Champaign, iL, usA (yanc@purdue.edu). References Bandarine, F. (2002) Foreword. World Heritage Manuals 1, 4. eigner, J. (1939) the enchanting beauty of Huang shan. The  China  Journal 31, 134–142. Hall, C.M. and Piggin, r. (2001) tourism and World Heritage in oeCD countries. Tourism  Recreation Research 26 (1), 103–105. Hall, C.M. and Piggin, r. (2002) tourism business knowledge of world heritage sites. International Journal of Tourism Research 4 (5), 401–411. Hers, J. (1935) the sacred mountains of China. Huang shan and how to get there. The  China Journal 22, 311–316. iuCN. (1990) Mount Huangshan and historic sites (China). World Heritage Nomination  Report. on WWW at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/547. Accessed 20.9.05. Kerstetter, D.L., Confer, J.J. and Graefe, A.r. (2001) An exploration of the specialization concept within the context of heritage tourism. Journal  of  Travel  Research 39 (3), 267–274. Kotler, P., Bowen, J.t. and Makens, J.C. (2005) Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism. New Jersey: Pearson education. Light, D., Prentice, C., Ashworth, G.J. and Larkham, J. (1994) Who Consumes the Heritage  Product? Implications for European Tourism. London: routledge. Moscardo, G., Green, D. and Greenwood, t. (2001) How great is the Great Barrier reef! tourists’ knowledge and understanding of the World Heritage status of the Great Barrier reef. Tourism Recreation Research 26 (1), 19–25. Nicholls, s. and Vogt, C. (2004) Heeding the call for heritage tourism. Parks & Recreations 39 (9), 38–49. Pedersen, A. (2002) tourism impacts and problems. World Heritage Manuals, 1, 29–31. Q4
  •  Journal of Heritage Tourism Peleggi, M. (1996) National heritage and global tourism in thailand. Annals of Tourism  Research 23 (2), 432–448. Q4 shackley, M. (1998) Visitor Management: Case Studies from World Heritage Sites. Butterworth Heinemann: oxford. silberberg, t. (1995) Cultural tourism and business opportunity for museums and herit- age sites. Tourism Management 16 (5), 361–365. Q4 uNesCo (1976) the effects of tourism on socio-cultural values. Annals  of  Tourism  Research 4, 74–105. Q4 uNesCo (1990) Mount  Huangshan. on WWW at http:/ /whc.unesco.org/en/list/547. Accessed 28.8.05. uNesCo. (2000) Xidi and Hongcun. on WWW at http:/ /whc.unesco.org/en/list/1002. Accessed 28.8.05. uNesCo. (2005) Mostar, Macao and Biblical vestiges in israel are among the 17 cultural sites inscribed on uNesCo’s World Heritage List. on WWW at http:/ /whc.unesco. org/en/news/135. Accessed 30.8.05. Q4