Conservation and Exploitation: Governance and Sustainability Issues: The Case of Lijiang
This chapter focuses on Lijiang City, China, one of the most controversial heritage sites in China. This site suffers from an excess of mass tourism, where economic exploitation seriously undermines the conservation of the site. The difficulties in dealing with tangible and intangible aspects are investigated while also addressing the issue of institutional fragmentation. Indeed, the site is composed of three different villages, with no coordination among them. Focusing on the major two (Dayan and Shuhe), a tension between conservation and exploitation emerges, with an interesting articulation of the notion of conservation. Neither site is able to find an ideal balance between conservation of the material aspect (tangible) and the social fabric of local population (and the Naxi minority in particular). Attempts to achieve this balance have led to diverging approaches and results; one site protects the artifact but feigns the social fabric, while the other has created a new area in the village to deflect visitor attention, protecting the old town and its social and agricultural activity.
KeywordsManagement Institutional fragmentation Preservation and exploitation Mass tourism Over-commodification Trade-off
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