Local people’s sense of place in heavily touristified protected areas: Contested place meanings around the Wulingyuan World Heritage Site, China

Jingyu Li, Arie Stoffelen, Erik Meijles, Frank Vanclay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The place meanings (or landscape values) of local people are increasingly being considered in nature conservation plans. However, in Indigenous and ethnic minority contexts, place meanings and underlying cultures tend to be regarded as static over time. This limits the inclusiveness and appropriateness of protected area governance. Using a case study of the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, a World Heritage Site in China, we found that residents’ sense of place and place meanings were diverse, varying, and were affected by changes to their livelihoods and the economy caused by increased tourism. There was a major mismatch between the recorded ‘traditional’ place meanings of residents and their current sense of place. The co-evolution of protected areas and tourism can affect residents’ place meanings. This complicates the process of finding a balance (or even synergy) between economic development, nature conservation, and local place identities, which is necessary for sustainability. An adaptive co-management plan that pays attention to residents’ diverse and changing place meanings is essential, but is difficult to develop and implement, especially in already heavily touristified areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104792
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Volume237
Early online date8-May-2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2023

Keywords

  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Conservation and tourism
  • Ecotourism
  • Ethnic tourism
  • Nature-based tourism
  • Public participation GIS

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