School of Business and Law
Beijing Social Science Key Fund
The Grand Canal is located in the north-eastern and central-eastern plains of China, running from Beijing in the north to Zhejiang province in the south, and is the longest canal in the world (1800 km) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From a tourism perspective, the Grand Canal can be considered as a linear heritage attraction linking many individual heritage sites. This research was conducted with a mixed qualitative–quantitative method in the 2021–2022 period. First, in-depth interviews with an unstructured methodology of image measurements were conducted to determine attributes of the perceived destination image (PDI) of the Grand Canal as a whole. Next, a measurement scale was developed using these attributes to examine the PDI of two canal sites near Beijing. A total of 274 valid questionnaires were used for data analysis. The results identify differences between the two sites’ PDI and the overall image of the Grand Canal. The t-test results shows that, in terms of the CDI, Shichahai Park has much better tourism activities, while Tongzhou Canal Park has better water quality. Shichahai Park’s ADI provides a stronger image of pride/impressive heritage of the Tongzhou Canal Park. Based on these results, a marketing strategy is proposed and discussed. This is the first study to develop a method and measurement scale to examine cohesion in the PDI of linear heritage attractions. The method may be used by other linear heritage management practitioners to link their attractions. © 2023 by the authors.
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