Chinese Perceptions of Overseas Cultural Heritage: Emotive Existential Authenticity, Exoticism and Experiential Tourism

Andrew Manley*, Michael Silk, Carol Chung, Yi Wen Wang, Rebecca Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws upon an extensive evidence base to analyze Chinese perceptions of Western cultural heritage and capture dominant reflections on an overseas destination as portrayed through selected images and artifacts. The dataset derives from an integrated methodological approach utilized to interpret visitor perceptions of an exhibition—hosted by Nanjing Museum, China—that focused on Scotland’s cultural heritage. The analysis of the data revealed insight into the importance of the experiential qualities of heritage tourism—specifically those aligned to the natural environment—and a desire to achieve an emotive and sensual engagement with key signifiers of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage through potential leisure experiences. The results provide detailed insights into the contemporary values motivating Chinese outbound tourists to visit and experience overseas heritage, the importance and potential of innovative ‘experience research methodologies’ and practical guidance for destination organizations that seek to position and promote Western cultural heritage to a Chinese audience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-261
Number of pages22
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Chinese outbound tourism
  • cultural heritage
  • destination image
  • existential authenticity
  • experiential tourism

Cite this