Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 1571-1585.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201808013

• Transportation and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The impact of tourism development on the construction of citizenship for ancient village residents in rural China:The case study of Kaiping Diaolou Complex

ZHUANG Xiaoping1(),YIN Shuhua2,ZHU Hong3()   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. School of Economics and Commerce, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3. Southern China Human Geography and Urban Development Research Center, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2017-07-10 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-31
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41630635;Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, No.2016A030313442


Since they were inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage List, ancient villages in rural China, which used to be relatively stable and closed communities, have embraced economic change that happened to the ways of life for the local residents as a result of the newly introduced economy and the flood of visitors. This paper takes Diaolou complex, a UNESCO Would Heritage site in China as a case study. It is found, after a seven-year study, that there is a significant correlation between the level of tourism development and the civic participation of local village residents.
In this paper, a comparison is made between the conditions in three different ancient villages before and after they were recognized as World Cultural Heritage Sites. With a further analysis of the data provided by the current local authorities and travel agencies concerning the main sources of income and the new economic structure, we found that there are some discrepancies in tourism development among the three ancient villages. Furthermore, to provide a plausible explanation of the interaction between tourism development and the construction of local civil society and citizenship, this paper first articulates the concept of "citizenship" in the literature, and then examines the results from in-depth interviews and field researches.
It is found that tourism development does bring about citizenship, viewed as a universal value, in the three adjacent ancient villages with similar governance patterns and similar traditions. In explaining the cultivation process and transformation mechanism of citizenship in traditional Chinese societies, this paper contributes to the studies in moral geography in China.

Key words: tourism development, citizenship, construction, cultural heritage, moral geographies, Kaiping Diaolou