Shandong Province and tourism: an examination of World Heritage Sites
Shandong Province of the People’s Republic of China hosts two World Heritage Sites: the temple and cemetery of Confucius and the Kong family mansion in the city of Qufu; and Mount Tai (Taishan where ‘shan’ means mountain), which spans the cities of Tai’an and Jinan. Of the ten criteria for a site to be given the status of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site (WHS), Mount Taishan meets seven and the temple and cemetery of Confucius and the Kong family mansion in Qufu meets three. In terms of these criteria, both represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; include an outstanding example of architecture and landscape illustrating a significant stage in human history; and are directly associated with living traditions and beliefs of outstanding universal significance (UNESCO 2011b). Mount Taishan also has four additional criteria, including: it exhibits an important interchange of human values on landscape design; it bears exceptional testimony to a living cultural tradition; it is an outstanding example of traditional human settlement that is representative of human interaction with the environment; and it contains superlative natural phenomena of aesthetic importance (UNESCO 2011b). To support these sites, the government of the province of Shandong hosts a tourism website, providing information on all tourism sites in the province (Shandong Tourism 2011). This site is written in Mandarin and offers no specialized advertising for the two WH sites. We discuss in this chapter the strategies and tasks that are necessary to increase the benefits of these sites to Shandong.