Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (8): 1137-1148.doi: 10.11821/xb201208011

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Influence Relationship and Mechanism of Tourists' Sense of Place in World Heritage Sites: A Case Study of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou

SU Qin, QIAN Shuwei   

  1. College of Territorial Resources and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241003, Anhui, China
  • Received:2011-08-20 Revised:2012-05-22 Online:2012-08-20 Published:2012-10-11
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41071099

Abstract: Sense of place emphasizes local characteristics and emotional links between people and the place. By building structural relationship model, the paper uses confirmatory factor analysis methods to analyze influence relationship and operational mechanism of tourists in the world heritage site, taking classical gardens of Suzhou as a case. The results are shown as follows. (1) The antecedent mechanism and consequences influence mechanism constitutes the "Import-Export" system mechanism, operation process and result is influence relationship mechanism of tourists' sense of place in classical gardens. (2) Tourism involvement, tourism function and tourist attraction are antecedent variables of sense of place, which has a significant impact on tourists' sense of place, among them, tourism function has the greatest influence (0.420), and the influence of tourism function is the least (0.341). (3) The formation of sense of place has an important effect on tourists' attitudes and behavior of heritage protection, especially on behavior of heritage protection rather than on attitudes of heritage protection. The meta-analysis of antecedent variables and consequences of sense of place and discussion of influence relationship mechanism has important reference meanings; besides, the research points out new direction for heritage conservation and tourism development of China.

Key words: sense of place, Suzhou, classical gardens, structural relationship model, influence mechanism