Meaning-making and urban heritage tourism

Su, Rui ORCID logoORCID: (2017) Meaning-making and urban heritage tourism. Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Tourism, ICOT 2017. In: 7th International Conference on Tourism ICOT 2017, 28 Jun - 01 Jul 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

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The research explains the semiosis of heritage tourism in the meaning-making about history, and its political and economic relationships in urban processes. Meaning-making about history involves aesthetic components and symbolic value embedded in the historic objects, which motivate individuals travel and also construct their own identities (Lash & Urry, 1994). This study examines the role of semiosis and to what extent it moves from pure linguistic turn to the semiotics of political economy approach. Extended from the “circuit of culture” model (Du Gay,, 2013), this paper is examined systematically, identifying general principles and also specific domains in a conceptual framework that can be dialectically contextualised for urban heritage tourism. This account represents a direct response to criticisms of political economy sometimes being insufficiently concerned with culture and semiotics, and of cultural perspectives which pay insufficient attention to the economy, thus neglecting the materiality of social relations. A case study of Nanjing city, China triangulates eighty-five in-depth interviews and other secondary data. Analysed by NVivo 11, the case application illustrates in particular the representations of historic meaning-making, tourist experiences and identities, alongside actor-governance relationships at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. The selective city imaging, “Nanjing – A city of universal love”, provided distinctive insights on the semiotic processes of selective historic era, associated with the potential tensions within China’s political system and urban economic relationships. The two examples indicated the value of the study’s conceptual framework, which can provide an alternative approach to reduce the complexity of urban heritage tourism, of theoretically and practically.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 22293
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Depositing User: Rui Su
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 15:46
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:53

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