Comprehensive Assessment of Sustainable Tourism-oriented Revitalization in a Historic District: A Case Study of Qianmen Area, Beijing, China

  • ZHU He , 1, 2, * ,
  • WANG Jingru 3 ,
  • ZHANG Xiyue 4
  • 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 2.Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 3.Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, MD 20742, USA
  • 4.Department of Tourism and MICE Management, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China
* ZHU He, E-mail:

Received date: 2019-04-05

  Accepted date: 2019-07-20

  Online published: 2019-10-11

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801139)

Science and Technology Support Program of the Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, CAS(Y8V80105YZ)

Social Science Planning Project of Beijing Municipal Education Commission(SM201810017002)

The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23100302)


Copyright reserved © 2019


Tourism-oriented revitalization of historic districts has been identified as a form of sustainability which is believed to contribute to both conservation and development. Comprehensive assessments of the effects of such tourism-oriented revitalizations in historic districts are thus a great challenge, and are needed to support sustainable development and management efforts. In this study criteria and indicators were identified by using the AHP method with experts scoring four aspects on two levels. We assess a case in China using this system and outputs indicated infrastructure and environment performed best, while the score for residents’ living condition and participation was the lowest. Finally, we offer some suggestions to improve the relatively poor status in order to assist historic districts in achieving sustained revitalization.

Cite this article

ZHU He , WANG Jingru , ZHANG Xiyue . Comprehensive Assessment of Sustainable Tourism-oriented Revitalization in a Historic District: A Case Study of Qianmen Area, Beijing, China[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2019 , 10(5) : 559 -568 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.05.013

1 Introduction

Urban historic districts are defined as sections of a city that contain ancient buildings and their surroundings (Mayor, 1973; Prentice, 1993; Smith, 2014), and are an integral part of urban economic dynamics (Wood, 1994). An urban historic district is an autonomous functional zone of a city (Benton et al., 1992), and is not only a place where people live and work, but also a symbiotic part of urban histories and memories (Sykes et al., 2015). As a new sense of historicity and a cultural nostalgia has grown, historic district conservation has become a significant concern (Thomas, 1989). However, many of these areas have suffered substantial decline, featuring deserted structures, outmoded infrastructure and crowded conditions. Such districts are not in a position to offer modern functions and need to be improved.
Maintaining a balance between development and preservation is a pressing issue for historic district revitalization. In the 1980s, many former industrial cities chose tourism as a major strategy to revitalize urban historic districts (Mah, 2012). As one of the world’s largest industries, tourism can bring economic benefits and prosperity to destinations that draw tourists (Buckley, 2012). For local communities, tourism development can improve local infrastructure and the quality of public services, and also increase the amount of leisure spaces (Kim et al., 2017). It is also believed that tourism can raise environmental protection awareness (Garcia et al., 2015). However, tourism can also have severe negative impacts. Commercial activities may damage historic resources (Healy, 1994) through physical damage caused by tourist visits or through an overloading of com- moditization, services or other new functions (Rees et al., 2008). To some extent, tourism-oriented economic growth has been overemphasized, while the provision of local community services has not received enough attention (Banskota et al., 1998). High property prices increase the cost of neighborhood area revitalizations (Idajati, 2014). Additionally, increased crime rates (in particular theft, violence, vandalism and bullying) (Alleyne et al., 2003) and increased pressure on local infrastructure and social services generate friction and conflicts between tourists and residents, and force changes to indigenous dwellers’ way of life (Buckley, 2012).
Against this background, the assessment of urban historic districts is a necessary tool to create a balance between the preservation of heritage and the changes brought about by the urban revitalization process. Incorporating rules for managing property in historic district into a city’s planning policies is an important part of solutions that lead toward urban sustainability. Assessments help to achieve a balance between preservation and increasing demand, and support decision-making that leads to satisfactory policies. Assessments help to ensure that any development in historic districts is under control and that possible negative impacts of modern urban structures are minimized throughout the development process.
The objectives of this study are as follows: 1) Clarify the targets of tourism-oriented revitalization in historic districts; 2) Build a comprehensive assessment system for tourism- oriented revitalizations in historic districts, based on AHP method; 3) Present an empirical study of Qianmen in Beijing for illustration; 4) Propose recommendations for tourism-oriented revitalizations in historic districts. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP), which is of great help in documenting different features and their effects on the reconstruction of urban heritage districts, is required. This enriches and expands the conventional methods utilized, and further ensures the sustainability of cultural heritage in any urban setting.

2 Literature review

This section outlines the foundations of historic district conservation and the progress China has made. It notes areas that should be discussed.

2.1 Historic district conservation

Historical districts have always have been regarded as spaces for visitors to look back to the past and appreciate heritage (Millar, 1989; Moscardo et al., 2000). The conservation strategy widely adopted focuses on preserving the unique, including the landscapes, architectural styles, and also representative samples of cultural resources and artifacts (Carter et al., 1997).
Historical district management is a part of heritage management in urban areas. It is a key tool to achieve a balance between the preservation and sustainable development of existing historical districts and catch up with the increasing demand for land for urban uses (Nasser, 2003). Relevant studies have taken two main directions. One leads towards developing a community with local residents focused on implementing living infrastructures (Glaeser et al., 2001; Andriotis et al., 2003). The other direction is to propose integration of tourism, and socio-economic and ecological factors for sustainable development. This approach encourages the participation of stakeholders and communities (Mensah et al., 2006). In these two ways, tourism has been commonly promoted and adopted as a tool to revitalize urban historic districts and transform them for contemporary use (Tiesdell et al., 1996; Ashworth et al., 2000; Mckercher et al., 2005).
The most important elements in historic districts are the historical resources. These are understood not to be a single structure but generally a cluster of historical buildings where not only the individual units themselves but also their spatial continuity is valued as heritage (Naoi et al., 2006). The sense of the past as the main attraction helps boost tourism in historical areas, and heritage tourism is among the fastest growing tourism markets (Coleman et al., 2002; Aas et al., 2005; Naoi et al., 2011). Many historical districts are currently becoming major tourism sites. The tourist-oriented development approach is bringing new vitality to traditional districts and transforming historical sites into apparent space (Mathieson et al., 1982; Wedow et al., 2013).

2.2 Assessment of historic district conservation

As historic district management has progressed, a number of studies have proposed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to assess the tourism-oriented revitalization of historic districts. Naoi et al. (2007) evaluated historical districts from the perspective of tourists by considering spiritual value of the place and the sense of stillness or stimulation based on visitors’ mental states. Kocabas (2006) suggested that three aspects including physical, social, and economic should be evaluated to determine the effects of conservation. Steinberg (1996) introduced five levels, political, cultural, social, economic, and urbanization, to analyze rehabilitation approaches to urban heritage. Within sustainable tourism frameworks, Al-kheder et al. (2009) argued that physical state, the society, the economy, politics, culture, and continuity are critical factors in decision making for urban heritage management. Zagroba (2017) focused on economic benefits such as increased property or estate values, and higher incomes brought about by tourism development in urban historic districts. Kovacs et al. (2015) believed the assessment system was behind the success of Heritage Conservation Districts in Canada after considering estate values and the satisfaction of stakeholders and residents, and analyzing plans and documents. Yung et al.(2014) considered evaluating social factors including community and cultural identity, community participation, and accessibility. Kou et al. (2018) chose indicators for evaluations of the sustainability of historic districts conservation with four factors in mind, including heritage conservation, stakeholder participation, economic development and planning, and governance.
However, the literature as a whole only considers one or a few aspects of the benefits of the tourism industry in historic district conservation. Little research has been conducted in a comprehensive way to explore which decision criteria for the conservation and development of historic districts are more important, and what knowledge is crucial to accelerate improvements to sustainable management efforts in urban historic districts. A more comprehensive assessment method should be explored, one that considers the aims of tourism and historic area revitalizations.

2.3 China’s progress on conserving historic districts

Tremendous changes have occurred in Chinese cities since the 1980s, caused by economic marketization, the clearance of slums, the resettlement of populations away from central areas, new buildings changing appearances, and property development (Shin, 2010). The functions, physical structures, infrastructure, and human settlement quality of existing districts all need upgrading. This has created special problems in historic districts including the destruction of heritage, lack of local identity, and the disappearance of traditions (Hu et al., 2016).
Famous Historic Cultural Cities was China’s first policy addressing the issue of historic district conservation in 1982 (Zhu, 2007). The term ‘historic district conservation’ first appeared in the context of conservation when China’s State Council recognized a second group of 38 Famous Historic Cultural Cities in 1986. A document approved and published as ‘Historical and Cultural Protected Areas’ pointed out that ‘blocks, buildings, small towns and villages with more concentrated cultural and historic relics or with more complete national and local characteristics from a certain historical period should also be protected’, based on their historical, scientific and artistic values. In 1986 the Huangshan Conference pointed out that conservation of historic districts was an important part of heritage protection (Ruan et al., 2001). Since then, historic district conservation has received more attention.
Because of chronic overcrowding, residents of historic areas occupied houses originally designed for far fewer people and, driven by an urban real estate boom, large-scale reconstruction began. This simplistic approach that began in the 1990s has caused great damage to urban historic and cultural environments. In the larger context of urban transition, historic districts are faced with the need to provide better economic benefits and effective conservation restrictions, and controls designed to preserve their traditional urban morphology. The need to balance different stakeholder rights with the economic benefits of high land prices in core urban area may greatly increase the cost of urban transformations (Kong, 1992). After the release of the First and Second Lists of 10 Chinese Historic and Cultural Districts in 2009 and 2010, the conservation of historic districts has generally received more prominence in agreements from the national and local level governments.
Because many Chinese enjoy higher incomes, more leisure time, and more mobility, tourism has been booming in China. Tourism development in historic districts started in the 1990s with the support of the Chinese government, serving in multiple roles as operator, regulator and investment stimulator (Lu et al., 2015). Using experience gained during the past two decades, urban regeneration in China has changed from an orientation towards economic development to a sustainable tourism-led mode. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that this approach can bring sustainable environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits, and be more balanced overall (Tao et al., 2017). Some successful cases, like the Xintiandi area in Shanghai, have also revitalized surrounding areas and pushed nearby property prices to among the highest in their cities (He et al., 2010). The tourism development strategy for historic districts has been so successful that efforts are now being made to replicate it in cities throughout China. Considering the limitations of development and the potential merits of tourism, many municipalities in China have attempted to adopt tourism as a strategy for the conservation of their historic districts.

3 Comprehensive assessment system

3.1 Procedure

Within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sustainable, tourism is concerned with social justice and economic viability, the participation of local people, and the protection of the physical environment (Swarbrooke, 1999; Hall et al., 2005). From the perspective of sustainable development in China, tourism-oriented revitalization of urban historic districts generally has four main targets: 1) revitalization of historic districts, urban infrastructure improvement and landscape regeneration; 2) economic growth and increased tax revenue from the tourism industry; 3) protection of heritage and help to develop sustainably; 4) provision of financial support and employment to local entrepreneurs and communities (Al-Kheder et al., 2009) (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 The framework for choosing indicators to assess tourism-oriented revitalization of historic districts in China

Keeping the four targets in mind, an assessment system that evaluates the following categories can be constructed: 1) Infrastructure & Environment; 2) Industry & Economy; 3) Heritage Protection; 4) Residents’ living conditions and participation. Each of these assessment categories can be resolved into several variables. Variables were selected based on following principles: 1) they are important aspects of these categories; 2) they are measurable or their condi- tions can be valued objectively; 3) data for the variables were available or easy to obtain; 4) there was no significant correlation or any duplication of information among them; and 5) they were representative and can reflect most information which were appeared in previous studies.
Numerous indicators and variables from previous studies were chosen for consideration, and after two rounds of discussions by 30 academic researchers, 20 indicators were selected for use.
The second stage consisted of assessing these indicators using analytical hierarchy process (AHP) based on their importance ranking (Saaty, 1994).
AHP as a qualitative and quantitative approach can be used to determine the priority and weight of performance criteria and indicators through paired comparison of attributes (Ferreira et al., 2010).
To incorporate their judgments about the various elements in the hierarchy, decision makers compared the elements two by two. Each pair of items in the rows were compared using a 9-point numerical scale (Table 1), and then a judgement matrix was constructed. In this matrix, there are 20 indicators, with aij representing the importance between indicators i and j, where ${{a}_{ij}}>0;\ {{a}_{ij}}=\frac{1}{{{a}_{ji}}};\text{ }{{a}_{ii}}=1.$ Ten experts of urban planning and tourism, and some people who work in offices of urban planning or construction were invited to do the pair-wise comparison for all the indices, which is a part of AHP processing. The pairwise comparison matrix was constructed using a hierarchy diagram, and all the results calculated using Yaahp 12.1 software.
Table 1 9-point scale numerical
Comparison with indicator i and j Quantized value
Equally important 1
Slightly important 3
Significantly important 5
Strongly important 7
Extremely important 9
The intermediate value of two
neighboring judgements
2, 4, 6, 8
Based on AHP, the evaluation system was divided into 2 levels. The first level is the target layer that including 1) Infrastructure & Environment; 2) Industry & Economy; 3) Heritage protection; 4) Residents’ living conditions and participation). The second level is the indicator layer including 30 representative indicators. The output of AHP is shown in table 2, with all the weights of the 30 indicators and 4 targets calculated using hierarchy comparison.
Table 2 The comprehensive assessment system
First level Weight Second level Weight Score
1 2 3 4 5
Infrastructures & Environment 0.2176 Environmental quality 0.0210 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Service facilities condition 0.0786 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Transport convenience 0.0473 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Infrastructure quality 0.0197 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Regional fame 0.0511 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Industry & Economy 0.2689 Per capita GDP 0.0159 If it equal or above the whole urban average scored 5, else calculated for the proportion a.
Tertiary industry 0.0167 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Visitor capacity 0.0400 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Tourist satisfaction 0.1246 Scores from tourists’ satisfaction survey
Degree of commercial agglomeration 0.0580 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Abundance of business types 0.0137 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Heritage protection 0.3049 Repair-rate of ancient buildings and relics 0.0605 The proportion of repaired ancient architectures multiply 5 b
Landscape-architecture coordination 0.0231 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Degree of heritage utilization 0.0569 visitors’ available heritages ratio multiply 5
Heritage management quality 0.0901 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Protection of native culture 0.0743 Bad Low General Good Prefect
Residents’ living condition and participation 0.2086 Population density 0.0187 If greater than or equal to urban average, score is 5; if less, a proportion is calculated
Per capita living space 0.0585 If greater than or equal to urban average, score is 5; if less, a proportion is calculated a
Per capita green area 0.0939 If greater than or equal to urban average, score is 5; if less, a proportion is calculated a
Community residents’ participation 0.0374 Scores from residents’ participation survey

a. The indicator score = the district value/the whole urban average value × 5;

b. According to the classification in government documents.

3.2 Explanation of categories

3.2.1 Infrastructure & Environment
The most important task for historic districts is to improve infrastructure and environmental conditions, especially for residents. However, such improvements are not easy to measure. In this research, a combination of measurable variables including environmental quality, condition of service facilities, convenience of access to transport, infrastructure quality and regional popularity, were scored from 1-5 (from bad to perfect) by investigators. Of the five indicators for Infrastructures & Environment, service facility conditions was found to be the most important indicator with the highest weight of 0.0786, and infrastructure quality was the lowest with a weight of 0.0197, which should receive more attention.
3.2.2 Industry & Economy
With respect to the tourism development target, the efficiency of the tourism industry should be considered. For this aspect, variables including per capita GDP, tertiary industry, visitor capacity, tourist satisfaction, degree of leisure busi- ness agglomeration, and abundance of business types were used to represent economic development. Data for per capita GDP, tertiary industry and visitor capacity were taken from local development material. A questionnaire based on SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, 1985) was completed by tourists to provide data on overall travel satisfaction, and abundance of business types and degree of leisure business agglomeration were scored from 1-5 by investigators.
3.2.3 Heritage protection
The AHP results showed that Heritage Protection was of the greatest concern. Heritage Protection had the highest weight and this affects how strategies for sustainable development are formulated. However, with respect to tourism resources protection, especially protection of heritage, quantitative indicators were rarely found. Among the indicators, the repair-rate of ancient cultural relics, which could be determined from an examination of official documents, indicates conservation status of ancient architecture. Others indicators including landscape-architecture coordination, the degree of resource utilization, the quality of resource management and the protection of native cultures, which represent the coordination, utilization, management and authenticity of heritages, were scored from 1-5.
3.2.4 Residents’ living conditions and participation
The precise meaning and standards for Residents’ living conditions and participation can be represented by 4 indices: population density, per capita living space, percapita green area and community residents’ participation. Population density, per capita living space, and per capita green area were calculated from statistics and analysis and comparison of remote sensing images. Community residents’ participation was determined by an investigation of local residents.

4 Empirical study of Qianmen area

4.1 Study area

Time-honored Qianmen District is an ancient business district of Beijing (Fig. 2). Business in The Qianmen area were developed by markets with selling fish, jewelry, charcoal and grain emerged along both sides of Qianmen street during the Ming Dynasty. The area took shape as a place for business and commerce. More than 30 of Beijing’s oldest and most prestigious shops dealing in jade jewelry, antique calligraphy and painting, pens and inkstones were found here.
During its almost 600 year history, the Qianmen area has been destroyed and restored several times. Since 2005, the Qianmen area has undergone its largest, most expensive and most thorough renovation since the Ming Dynasty. The reconstruction project has mainly focused on restoring urban architecture and street styles of the late 19th century, recreating the traditional culture of old Beijing with its prosperous marketplaces and commercial centers. Officially opened on the eve of the 2008 Olympic Games, Qianmen Street, at the south gate of old Beijing, has gradually become a popular attraction and a draw for foreign tourists to visit Beijing, with millions of visitors every year. The Qianmen area is now a popular shopping and tourist spot.

4.2 Data collection

The survey of Qianmen area began on June 5, 2018. The respondents included 8 stakeholders, 2 officers, 12 residents, 15 tourists and 9 experts familiar with conditions in the Qianmen area. They were asked to score the items shown above in Table 2. A total 350 questionnaires about tourist satisfaction were collected from tourists, of which 335 were usable; the effective rate was 95.7%. A total of 350 questionnaires about resident participation were also collected, of which 320 were usable; the effective rate was 91.42%.
Other indicators were calculated using data from official reports, statistics and books for Xicheng District, and the local history of the Qianmen area was used to calculate other indicators. Additionally, remote sensing images of the Qianmen area were used to determine total living space and green space, and per capita living space and per capita green space were calculated based on this analysis (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Living space and green space based on analysis of remote sensing images of the Qianmen area

4.3 Assessment results and suggestions

The four constructions of the Qianmen area were assessed by the indicator system, as shown in Table 3.
Table 3 Results of the comprehensive assessment of Qianmen
First level (score) Second level Score
Infrustracture & Environment
Environmental quality 4.30
Service facilities condition 4.33
Transport convenience 4.78
Infrastructure quality 4.43
Regional fame 4.85
Industry &
Per capita GDP 5.00
Tertiary industry 5.00
Visitor capacity 5.00
Tourist satisfaction 3.66
Degree of commercial agglomeration 4.72
Abundance of business types 4.46
Repair-rate of ancient buildings and relics 3.00
Landscape-architecture coordination 4.20
Degree of heritage utilization 4.00
Heritage management quality 3.87
Protection of native culture 4.17
Residents’ living condition and participation
Population density 0.29
Per capita living space 4.37
Per capita green area 1.61
Community residents’ participation 1.00
The comprehensive assessment showed a total score of 3.76 for the Qianmen area. The Infrastructures & Environment category had the highest score, while the residents’ living conditions and participation category had the lowest score.
In the Infrastructure & Environment category, the environmental quality and infrastructure items performed worst, suggesting that more financial resources and political support should be directed to improving environmental conditions and infrastructure. Actually, these are public affairs which are always managed by government in China. Administrators need more effective measures including educational programs to increase tourist awareness, and rules to discipline business behaviors and define responsibilities. Such measures can be used to form a harmonious, circular “administer - operator - tourist” system. In terms of service facilities, governments must increase investments focused on the actual needs of residents and tourists, upgrade infrastructure, and improve the quantity and quality of public services.
The overall score of Industry & Economy was 4.29, with the tourist satisfaction and degree of commercial agglom- eration having the two lowest scores. To improve the situa- tion, the management of the historic district should pay more attention to tourist satisfaction. Our survey found that order and fairness were crucial to the perception’s tourists have and that these can be improved upon by effective arrangement of open spaces and tour route design. Devel- opers and managers of more business types should further plan the business form system, introducing more interesting consumption experiences with a rational approach to com- mercial space and agglomeration.
The overall score of the Heritage Protection category was 3.82. Breaking this down, the repair-rate of ancient cultural relics and resource management quality got lower scores. Our analysis of the results found that the low scores were mostly caused by the relatively high costs of building and relics restorations and heritage protection, including high labor and material costs and increased transportation costs due to the need to move through narrow streets. In the future, administrators can increase the level of financial support with appropriate funding measures, raise money from the society, establish special protection funds, and work together with developers to overcome funding limitations and strengthen the re-use of cultural relics and ancient buildings. In terms of resource management, it is a matter of critical significance to establish a more rational and mature management system. Heritages’ property and management nationalized will promote relics repairing and maintaining. Additionally, a scientific assessment is needed to estimate the cost of protection work. At the same time, administrators should conduct unscheduled inspections to strengthen supervision.
In terms of social and livelihood systems, Qianmen area scored 2.16, the lowest score among the four categories. The low score is related mainly to the high population density of the district. Among the indicators, the lowest score went to population density, with 20393 people per km2 in Qianmen area. There is a big gap between this density level and the average level of 1311 people per km2 in Beijing. This disparity can be tracked back to the high population density in central areas found during the Ming Dynasty. According to statistics, the average population density in the downtown area of Beijing has reached 23953 people per km2, creating problems that urgently need to be solved. The Seventh Plenary Session of the Eleventh Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China voted to adopt the “Opinions of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China on Implementing the Outline of the Beijing-Tianjin- Hebei Cooperative Development Plan”. The Plan calls for limiting the population to 23 million or less in 2020, and relieving density by 15% in core urban areas.
Therefore, in the future, population dispersion in Qianmen area will be a focus of regeneration work. In addition, the level of participation of community residents needs to receive more attention. According to the introduction of the management department, less than 10% of community residents participate in leisure tourism industry operation. This is mainly due to the appreciation of land and housing prices, which improves the financial situation of the residents. By renting houses, residents can gain significant benefits. Therefore, their enthusiasm to participate in tourism development diminishes.

5 Conclusions and discussion

The purpose of this study has been to develop a comprehensive system to measure tourism-oriented revitalization in historic districts within a sustainable framework. AHP method was applied to construct the system and indicators from four related categories (Infrastructures & Environment, Industry & Economy, Heritage Protection, Residents’ living condition and participation) were identified to serve as guidelines for future tourism development at all levels of planning. Based on the weight, Heritage Protection, Industry & Economy, Infrastructures & Environment and Residents’ living condition and participation ranked from 1 to 4. 20 indices were chosen for the second level to represent the fourth. Inside, tourist satisfaction is the most important, and per capita GDP is the least. Then Qianmen area was as a case study to apply this system. The result showed that the Residents’ living condition and participation in Qianmen presented worst and the Industry & Economy appeared best.
From the AHP results, we can find that the protection of resources is the most critical task for historic districts revitalization. Thus, managers need to pay more attention to heritage and natural resources conservation. Efforts to repair ancient relics including streets, buildings, plants and sculptures deserve to be strengthened. Guidelines that take into consideration authenticity and coordination with the surrounding environment should be developed for restoration and reasonable utilization. Secondly, because tourism development is regarded as an important economic driver, standards and guidelines are required. Excessive commercialization would bring disaster to cultural heritages. Management measures are urgently needed to realize a rational balance between economic benefits and heritage capacity. Thus, sustainable scientific development planning of the environment-economy-protection system should be undertaken. The tourism industry can develop appropriately based on the results of this assessment system to arrive at the optimum supply and demand balance. Moreover, comprehensive and efficient administrative departments are of great significance for sustainable tourism-oriented historic district revitalizations. Heritage and tourism management are parts of a large, complex system and various departments are involved in the formation of an administrative structure. Establishing a new administrative department covering tourism, environment, culture, heritage, community participation, and related aspects for historic districts is possible. Moreover, balancing the perceptions of different stakeholders is also vital. Enhancing pride in neighborhood history and the built environment can improve resident confidence in the future of the area. Modest amounts of local or government funding are available to support renovation and improvement programs in historic districts. Community participation is an important goal for sustainable tourism. Administrators should consider ways to shift local residents away from a dependence on property rentals to joining in tourism-related work.
This study relied on a limited sample size and had little comparative data to work with. More surveys should be conducted in the future to develop a series of sustainable indices. More practice and case studies can be used to validate and periodically revise the comprehensive assessment.
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