Revitalising China’s Ethereal Heritage: How Novel Tourism Tactics Are Resurrecting Ancient Gems

by | Aug 26, 2023

China is adopting innovative tourism to protect and promote its valuable intangible cultural heritage. The country is incorporating virtual reality and other technological elements to exhibit these treasures as part of its 14th five-year plan. This development adds a new dimension to the tourism industry by creating experience bases and scenic spots that showcase China’s cultural heritage.

One notable initiative is the construction of an intangible cultural heritage study base by the Qiaolaohan textile and cotton products company on the Lihou Tiger. The aim of this project is to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the cultural significance and historical origins of this national treasure. By witnessing the intricate craftsmanship involved in creating the Lihou Tiger and learning about its symbolic meanings, including blessings, protection, and wealth creation, visitors can have a more immersive and educational experience.

Li Xiaomei, a provincial-level inheritor of the Lihou Tiger, has established her own intangible cultural heritage studio, which has quickly become a popular destination for tourists. This studio offers visitors the opportunity to explore the intricate artistry behind the Lihou Tiger and discover its profound symbolism. It is not just a sightseeing opportunity but an educational journey into China’s cultural legacy.

In Xinzhou, an ancient city in Shanxi province, more than 20 intangible cultural heritage shops have been established. These shops showcase a wide range of traditional handicrafts and projects. To support these businesses, Xinzhou has implemented rent-free policies, providing a boost to artisans and entrepreneurs with limited financial resources. This initiative not only revitalizes the local economy but also ensures the preservation of intangible cultural heritage for future generations.

China’s commitment to preserving its cultural treasures is evident through its long list of intangible cultural heritage items recognized by UNESCO. Currently, 43 of China’s intangible cultural heritage items have been inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. This highlights the country’s dedication to safeguarding its cultural diversity.

With over 100,000 representative items of intangible cultural heritage, including 1,557 national intangible cultural heritage items, China offers a wide range of traditions and customs to explore. By incorporating these elements into the tourism sector, China injects new energy into the promotion, inheritance, and development of its intangible cultural heritage.

Scenic spots throughout the country serve as platforms for showcasing intangible cultural heritage. These sites not only provide stunning landscapes but also offer visitors the chance to immerse themselves in vibrant traditions and customs. The rising trend of “tourism plus intangible cultural heritage” attracts travelers seeking an authentic and enriching experience.

The Lihou Tiger is a prime example of how intangible cultural heritage enhances scenic spots with cultural significance. Originating from the ancient folk custom of using tigers as totems during the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Lihou Tiger carries deep historical and symbolic meaning. Its integration into scenic spots not only adds cultural authenticity but also preserves and promotes this important aspect of China’s intangible cultural heritage.

China’s efforts to preserve and showcase its intangible cultural heritage emphasize the importance of cultural diversity and the need to safeguard these treasures for future generations. Through innovative approaches, such as incorporating virtual reality and other technological elements, the country bridges the gap between the past and present. This ensures that its intangible cultural heritage remains alive and cherished.

As intangible cultural heritage continues to thrive in China, the nation’s commitment to preserving its cultural identity becomes even more apparent. By blending tradition with modern advancements, China paves the way for a future where cultural heritage is celebrated, cherished, and shared with the world. With each innovative step, China’s intangible cultural heritage takes center stage, captivating visitors and preserving the legacy of previous generations.