PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (8): 997-1007.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.08.009

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation of tourism development value of intangible culture heritage resources:A case study of Suzhou City

Xiyue ZHANG1,2,3(), Hu YU1,*(), Tian CHEN1, Xinge WANG1,2,3, Fuyuan WANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2016-08-25 Published:2016-08-25
  • Contact: Hu YU;
  • Supported by:
    Humanities and Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China, No.14YJC630146;National Science and Technology Support Program of China, No.2014BAL07B02


Tourism development is an important way to protect and utilize intangible cultural heritage resources. This study defined the concept of intangible cultural heritage resource tourism development, discussed the characteristics of intangible tourism resources, and formed the indicator system of intangible cultural heritage resource development potential based on characteristics of the resources, including resource endowment, possibility for visual display and experience, tourism development conditions in the heritage site, and other factors. Indicators of the evaluation include value of the heritage, cultural influence of the heritage, inheritance status, innovation ability, product derivation, tourist experience, visual display, target group attracted, and other influencing factors of intangible cultural heritage resource development. A total of 28 indicators and indices were selected and organized into five levels, including target, comprehensive evaluation, element evaluation, factor evaluation, and evaluation indicator, and they were weighted. The three comprehensive evaluation indices are experience (with a weight of 0.4211), tourism development conditions in the heritage site (with a weight of 0.3504), and resource endowment (with a weight of 0.2285), indicating that visual display and experience of resources is the most important factor influencing the potential of intangible cultural heritage resource tourism development. For the operationalization of the indicator system, a resource scoring table was put forward. Taking Suzhou City as an example, intangible cultural heritage resources of the provincial level and above were evaluated, among which three were classified as level three tourism resources, 16 as level two tourism resources, and 29 as level one tourism resources, and 41 are without value for tourism development. The results show that derivative products, suitability for visual display, level of appeal, and heritage protection situation produce an effect on whether the intangible resources can become tourist resources; comprehensive evaluation decisively influences the potential of tourism resources for tourism development. Intangible cultural heritage of handicraft and folk custom are of high tourism development potential and intangible cultural heritage resource of folklore, traditional sports and entertainment, acrobatics and traditional medicine are of low tourism development potential. Empirical research proves that the intangible cultural heritage resource tourism development potential indicator system developed in this research is useful and can provide scientific support for tourism destinations to assess intangible cultural heritage resources and develop tourism.

Key words: intangible cultural heritage, tourism development potential, indicator system, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Suzhou City