Rural Revitalization and Rural Tourism High-quality Development

Dilemma Analysis and Path Exploration of the Integrated Development of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Beijing from the Perspective of Rural Revitalization

  • FAN Wenjing , * ,
  • SONG Xiaoyu ,
  • LI Xiabing ,
  • LIU Bixian
  • School of Economics and Management, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, Beijing 102600, China
*FAN Wenjing, E-mail:

Received date: 2023-09-03

  Accepted date: 2023-12-08

  Online published: 2024-05-24

Supported by

The Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication 2024 Youth Excellence Program(Ea202415)


This study constructed the RMPP (Resource-Market-Product-Policy) theory from the perspective of rural revitalization, combined with the concept of intangible cultural heritage (ICH)+tourism to assist rural revitalization. Firstly, the study summarized the current situation of integrated development of ICH resources and tourism in 10 suburban districts of Beijing from four dimensions: Resources, market, product, and policy. Secondly, the study used the Delphi method and Analytic Hierarchy Process to construct an RMPP evaluation index system, determine the weights of the indicators, and score them. Through evaluation and analysis, the development differences of the 10 suburban districts in the four dimensions of RMPP were identified, and the difficulties in integrating development of ICH and tourism were sorted out, such as weak awareness of ICH inheritance, insufficient integration of ICH tourism resources, low level of the development of ICH tourism products, and unclear rights and responsibilities for ICH protection. Finally, the study explored the path of promoting rural revitalization through the integration of ICH and tourism from the four dimensions of RMPP, including scientific integration of ICH resources, innovative market models, product gradient development, and policy targeted implementation.

Cite this article

FAN Wenjing , SONG Xiaoyu , LI Xiabing , LIU Bixian . Dilemma Analysis and Path Exploration of the Integrated Development of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Beijing from the Perspective of Rural Revitalization[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2024 , 15(3) : 565 -575 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2024.03.005

1 Introduction

In recent years, the integration of culture and tourism has been widely discussed in rural development and is an important practical form for developing and utilizing rural cultural heritage resources. The Opinions on Promoting Cultural Industries to Empower Rural Revitalization and the Opinions on Further Strengthening the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage point out that relying on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) to develop rural tourism serves as an effective model for achieving the productive protection of ICH, providing valuable support for cultivating new momentum for rural development. Amidst the trend of cultural and tourism integration, the integrated development of intangible cultural heritage and tourism not only propels the innovation and preservation of intangible cultural heritage but also generates economic benefits for rural areas. This stands as a crucial avenue for realizing the rural revitalization strategy. Beijing, with its abundant ICH tourism resources and exceptional local characteristics, possesses significant potential for resource conversion and empowerment of rural economic development through the rational utilization of ICH tourism resources.

2 Overview of research on the integration of ICH and tourism

In 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris, triggering a worldwide boom in research on ICH. In the context of the integration of culture and tourism, the integration of ICH and tourism has become a key topic of scholars’ research. Most of the research on ICH tourism in China appeared after 2005, and many scholars have studied and discussed ICH tourism from different angles and have reached valuable research outcomes so far. These include the dialectical relationship between the authenticity of ICH and tourism, the development mode of ICH tourism, the evaluation of ICH tourism resources, the problems existing in the development of ICH tourism and development countermeasures, and so on.
Intangible cultural heritage and tourism have a natural origin, and their cultural forms may remain relatively stable forming distinctive characteristics. However, the content can be continually updated with the changes of the times. It is this characteristic that allows developed tourism products to remain viable over an extended period (Wang, 2010). In recent years, there has been more available research on the tourism development of ICH resources, and scholars usually adopt qualitative research methods to propose different development models for ICH resources. For example, ICH theme tourism, ICH blocks, festival activities, exhibitions, and educational excursions, ICH Museum Education, ICH rural tourism, and other resources (Ken, 2004; Liang and Ma, 2008; Tang et al., 2021; Liu and Xu, 2022; Qu and Luo, 2022; Liu et al., 2023). At the same time, scholars also pay more attention to the role of intangible cultural heritage tourism in economic development and cultural innovation. Liu et al. (2011) summarized the successful experience of inheriting and operating traditional temple fairs of ICH by taking the Ditan Temple Fair in Beijing as an example. Based on the background of the rapid development of new media. Gigauri and Devidze (2019) pointed out that the positive trend of travelers seeking in-depth cultural experiences is a driving factor for the quick growth of ICH-based tourism, and ICH-based tourism can successfully encompass community sustainable development. Jin and Huang (2022) analyzed a large number of ICHs in Beijing’s central axis area, emphasizing that these ICH items are treasure houses of IP development, and have extremely high cultural and artistic value in film and television animation creation, brand image development, cultural and creative products, etc., and can put forward that building a cultural IP with Chinese characteristics and injecting cultural value into the IP brand will help to further inherit and disseminate ICH. Feng and Zhao (2022) focused on the protection of rural ICH. They explored the dilemma of integrating rural cultural heritage resources and tourism development, and proposed feasible development paths for the integration of rural cultural heritage resources, such as integrated planning, protection, and development, to promote the benign interaction between ICH and tourism and realize rural revitalization. Krešimir et al. (2022) highlighted that a stronger connection between rural tourism and intangible cultural heritage should impact the financial outcomes of entrepreneurs in rural tourism. Qiu et al. (2022) conducted a qualitative meta-analysis based on 23 European and 16 Chinese case studies to identify the process of tourism place-making by using ICH as a resource. The results concluded and replenished the main considerations in creating tourist destinations with ICH, including planner, ICH type, specific place-making scope, purpose, design focus, types of placemaking, and sense of place. Tang et al. (2023a, 2023b) evaluated the level of cultural and tourism integration development in 16 traditional villages in Beijing and analyzed the relevant influencing factors. From the perspective of cultural and tourism integration, they provided a theoretical basis and technological support for the comprehensive revitalization of traditional villages and the integration of urban and rural development. Additionally, Nuria et al. (2023) argued intangible cultural heritage is a tool for urban and social regeneration in neighborhoods in Malaga, Spain.
In the exploration of the development and utilization of ICH tourism, the assessment of the value of tourism resources holds a significant position. Evaluating the value and development potential of ICH tourism resources serves as the prerequisite and foundation for the scientific and rational development of ICH tourism. It is also conducive to fostering a positive interaction between the protection, inheritance, and tourism development of ICH (Guo and Zhao, 2012). Scholars have approached the evaluation of ICH resources from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Some scholars applied quantitative research methods such as the Delphi method, analytic hierarchy method, fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method, gray analysis method, kernel density estimation, and knowledge graphs (Shi and Sun, 2010; Su, 2010; Zheng, 2010; Fan et al., 2023; Tang, 2023) to construct a model of ICH value evaluation index system and obtained the evaluation of the development value of ICH tourism resources.

3 Analysis of the integrated development of Resource-Market-Product-Policy (RMPP) of ICH and tourism in Beijing

Aiming at the development of intangible cultural heritage tourism, Wu (2001), Li and Tan (2016), Meng (2022), and other scholars used Resource-Market-Product (RMP) theory to develop case studies of ICH tourism development through resources, markets, and products. RMP theory is centered on tourism products and applies to the planning of intangible cultural tourism products. Under the strategic background of rural revitalization, the “speed” and “degree” policy support of ICH development are inseparable, and this paper benefits from the inspiration of RMP theory to construct a theoretical framework of Resource-Market-Product-Policy (RMPP) (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Theoretical framework of RMPP for the integrated development of ICH and tourism

3.1 Beijing ICH tourism resources

As of August 2023, Beijing has a total of 11 UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity-Kunqu opera, Guqin art, Chinese paper-cutting, Chinese calligraphy, traditional Chinese wooden structure building skills, Dragon Boat Festival, Peking Opera, Chinese medicine acupuncture, Chinese shadow puppet play, Chinese abacus, and 24 solar terms. According to the official website of China Intangible Cultural Heritage, China Intangible Cultural Heritage Digital Museum, and the list of ICH released by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, up to now, Beijing has 120 representative items of national ICH and 302 items at the municipal level (including extensions). It also employs 105 national-level representative inheritors and 280 city-level representative inheritors, with a large number and high level of ICH resources.
Considering the typology of ICH structures, Beijing boasts a diverse array of ICH resources. Tourism resources encompass 10 categories, encompassing folk literature, traditional music, traditional dance, traditional drama, folk art, traditional art, traditional sports, games and acrobatics, traditional skill, traditional medicine, and folk custom. As of September 29, 2021, Beijing has published five batches of 302 representative items of municipal ICH, of which 48 items of gastronomy (food) are ICH, accounting for nearly 16% of the total, which is a relatively large proportion of the total number of ICH items in Beijing. Among the 120 national-level ICH resources, traditional skill ranked first with 41 items. The specific number of each type of ICH is shown in Table 1 (The traditional drama Kunqu is shared by Xicheng District and Fengtai District. The traditional skill Traditional Distilled Spirits Brewing Technique (Beijing Erguotou Spirits Brewing Technique) is shared by Chaoyang District and Huairou District. Therefore, the total number of ICH items in each district is 122).
Table 1 Regional distribution of national ICH items in Beijing
District Folk literature Traditional music Traditional dance Traditional drama Folk art Traditional sports, games and acrobatics Traditional art Traditional skill Traditional medicine Folk custom Total
Dongcheng 1 1 0 0 1 0 8 13 2 0 26
Xicheng 1 1 1 3 2 9 2 16 4 1 40
Chaoyang 0 0 1 0 3 2 4 2 2 1 15
Haidian 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 1 0 9
Fengtai 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Shijingshan 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Daxing 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
Tongzhou 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
Shunyi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Changping 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mentougou 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 5
Fangshan 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3
Huairou 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3
Pinggu 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Miyun 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
Yanqing 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Total 8 4 9 6 7 12 18 42 9 7 122
ICH items in Beijing are widely distributed and have outstanding characteristics. According to the regional division, Beijing can be divided into 6 urban areas, 6 suburban areas, and 4 outer suburbs. The number of national ICH items in each district is shown in Table 1.

3.2 Beijing ICH and tourism integration development market

According to the “2021 Beijing Culture and Tourism Statistical Report”, citizens’ travel preferences have changed, and the proportion of outings in Beijing has increased for two consecutive years, from 53.6% in 2019 and 55.2% in 2020 to 66.8% in 2021. This indicates the presence of a new trend of “more peripheral, more outdoor, and more rural” tourism. Experiencing the beauty of the countryside and enjoying the cultural tourism feast has become an important option for citizens and tourists to enjoy cultural tourism activities during the holiday. In 2021, business entities such as folk homestays received 13.657 million tourists, an increase of 35.2%. The relevant revenue reached 1.43 billion yuan, pointing to an increase of 48.4%.
Beijing’s tourism development seems to be greatly advantageous. According to the data released by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, the overall trend of tourism development in Beijing seems to result in positive outcomes. However, from the perspective of tourism development in local areas, there is an unbalanced development in regional spatial. Taking 2021 as an example (Fig. 2), six urban areas of Beijing, namely Dongcheng District, Xicheng District, Chaoyang District, Haidian District, Fengtai District, and Shijingshan District, have created huge economic benefits due to their abundant tourism resources. Compared with the urban areas, and although Beijing outings have become an important travel option for citizens, the proportion continues to increase, due to geographical location, economic conditions, tourism resources, and other reasons. Therefore, the role of tourism in promoting the local economy needs to be further explored. The development of ICH can be used to bring opportunities for the expansion of the tourism market. The integration of intangible cultural heritage and tourism will not only contribute to the innovation of the tourism industry but will also promote the protection and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage by increasing the market demand for ICH.
Fig. 2 Beijing’s tourism revenues by region in 2021

3.3 Beijing ICH tourism products

Beijing is endowed with a wealth of ICH resources, particularly in traditional skills, providing a substantial foundation for both tourism development and the ICH product economy. These resources extend beyond practical everyday products to encompass art, decoration, and tourism-related items. ICH products are not only marketable through commodity trading but also play a crucial role in ICH tourism, with certain production and processing sites serving as notable attractions for tourists and researchers alike. These ICH products, infused with rural elements, serve as effective mediums for showcasing rural characteristics and cultural heritage. They play a pivotal role in promoting the revitalization of rural industries, nurturing talents, fostering organizational growth, preserving ecological balance, and enriching cultural heritage. In February 2023, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued The Notice on Promoting the In-depth Integration and Development of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Tourism, putting forward the key task requirements of “integrating into the tourism space” and “enriching tourism products”. At present, according to the characteristics of their own ICH resources, each district in Beijing has extracted intangible or tangible elements from ICH resources such as folk literature, traditional medicine, traditional dance, traditional skills, etc., and integrated them into the design of ICH tourism routes, ICH blocks, cultural and creative products, and ICH exhibition performances. A series of ICH tourism products has been developed, and the statistics of representative ICH tourism products in each district are shown in Table 2. The development model of “ICH + products”, seeking the connection point between traditional culture and modern life, brings a way for residents to increase income and drive economic development, which is an important way to achieve rural revitalization. Figure 3 shows the production of the Beijing Silk Doll. Beijing Silk Doll have driven the employment of villagers. Figure 4 shows Museum No. 93, an ICH museum that integrates ICH experience, product sales, and ICH teaching.
Table 2 Representative ICH tourism products in Beijing suburbs
District Stage performance Folk festival ICH study tour and
theme tourism
Experience hall Traditional cuisine
Daxing Wenchaozi, etc ICH performances at flower fairs - Guqin Inheritance Base China Printing Museum, Arctic Ocean Yili Park Daxing South Road Shochu liquor
Tongzhou “Unbreakable Memories” ICH Theme Performance Canal Culture Temple Fair Grand Canal ICH theme Tour Grand Canal Dragon Lantern Culture Museum Dashunzhai Baked Sugar Cake
Shunyi Beijing Five Tiger stick, Zengzhuang Drum and other ICH performances Yangzhen Dragon Lantern Festival, Zhangzhen Stove King Cultural Festival Chinese Traditional Culture Experience Research Base Beijing Jiudingzao Culture Museum Full Pigeon Feast,
Camel Feast
Changping Qiyuan Dragon Drum, etc ICH performances at flower fairs Hot Spring Culture Festival Dragon Drum Inheritance Base in Qiyuan Village Beijing Yushengtang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum Beijing Yangfang shabu mutton
Mentougou Performance of traditional stories and legends such as Fanpai Taiping Drum, etc Miaofeng Mountain Temple Fair, Lingshui Autumn Porridge Festival Liuli Ancient Rhyme ICH Trace Study Yongding River Culture Museum Beijing White Pear
Fangshan Stilt walking competition Fangshan District ICH Temple Fair Yaowang Valley Traditional Chinese Medicine Culture Experience Base Yunju Temple Stone Sutra Museum Daokou Roasted Chicken
Huairou Maoshan Village Manchu Erkui wrestling and other ICH skills performances Jingyun Manxiang Cultural Tourism Festival, Lianqiao Rice Folk Culture Festival - Beijing Dried Fruit Museum, Beijing Erguotou Liquor Museum Changshaoying Manchu cuisine, Beijing dried fruit
Pinggu Beixinzhuang Village Stilt Rice-planting Festival Yajishan Temple Fair, Xuanyuan Cultural Tourism Festival - Shangzhai Culture Exhibition Hall Roasted sheep in Diaowo Village
Miyun Butterfly Fair, Caijiawa Five-tone Drum Nine-curved Yellow River Formation Lamp Custom at Lantern Festival Miyun Sanyaki Cultural Experience Hall - Fish Stew
Yanqing Stage play “The Great Wall Builds Dreams”, immersive experience drama “Love in the Fork Road” Gubei Water Town : The Great Wall Temple Fair, Yongning Grand Fair Beijing Yongning Ancient Town Intangible Cultural Heritage Experience Base Great Wall Museum of China Yanqing baked wheaten cake, Guichuan liquor, Scutellaria tea

Note: This table shows only statistics products closely related to the development and utilization of ICH, and “-” in a certain district meaning that there is no ICH representative in this category. For example, “-” in the study tour experience category does not mean there is no study tour in this district but only refers to no representative ICH study products. In addition, national comprehensive museums in each district are not included in the statistics of the experience hall.

Fig. 3 (a) A farmer is making Beijing Silk Doll in his spare time. (b) Various kinds of Beijing Silk Doll featuring traditional Chinese culture
Fig. 4 (a) A visitor takes a tour to the Museum No. 93 to learn about intangible cultural heritage. (b) Slogan of Museum No. 93: Let the world understand China’s ICH and let China’s ICH go global

3.4 Beijing ICH tourism development policy

In 2019, Beijing promulgated and implemented the Regulations on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Beijing. In the same year, the Implementing Opinions on Revitalization of Traditional Crafts in Beijing, and the Implementation Plan for the Beijing Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritance and Development Project were successively issued In 2023, Beijing Municipal Government approved the Implementing Opinions of Beijing Municipality on Further Strengthening the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In the Four- teenth Five-Year Development Plan, Cultural Tourism Development Plan and other documents of each district, all involve the integration of ICH and tourism development. Figure 5 shows face-to-face interviews between the research team and ICH inheritors to understand the implementation of policies. The ICH development policies proposed by various suburban areas in Beijing in multiple documents and the extracted development priorities, are shown in Table 3.
Fig. 5 (a) The authors conducted interviews with Filigree Inlaying inheritors. (b) The authors posed for a photo after the interview with the manager of Beijing Silk Doll Production Base
Table 3 Key contents of ICH development policies in Beijing suburbs
District Key policy points
Daxing The origin, farming, gastronomy, folklore, handicrafts and other traditional cultures will be creatively processed to develop rural cultural and creative industries
Tongzhou Coordinating the protection and utilization of the Grand Canal Cultural Belt and the construction of beautiful villages along the route
Shunyi Strengthen the active use of ICH such as traditional calendars, folk customs, and local crafts, and support the development of rural ICH tourism
Changping Build museums such as folk and ecological museums, and develop ICH tourism routes and ICH element tourism products
Mentougou Accelerate the cultivation of rural entertainment and leisure activities such as Beijing-West Taiping Drum, Miaofeng Mountain Temple Fair, and Yongding River Cultural Festival
Fangshan Implement the traditional craft revitalization plan, cultivate traditional craft brands with Beijing flavor characteristics, and promote the deep integration of rural culture with rural tourism and leisure agriculture
Huairou Promote the revitalization of traditional crafts in rural areas, and further strengthen the protection and utilization of national and municipal ICH items
Pinggu Deeply promote the integration of “agriculture + tourism”, develop tourism cultural and creative products, build the Yaji Mountain cultural tourism brand
Miyun Relying on resources such as ICH, the Great Wall, and folk culture, design cultural and creative products
Yanqing Promote the integrated development of ICH and related industries, and promote the revitalization and innovation of time-honored ICH

4 Development evaluation and data sources

The development evaluation adopts the Delphi method and the Analytic Hierarchy Process. By conducting iterative questionnaire surveys and collecting anonymous opinions from experts, consensus is achieved among multiple parties. This iterative process incorporates feedback, leading to the development of a scientific and rational summary evaluation method. This study invited 5 experts from relevant research fields to seek opinions, optimize the evaluation system indicators, assign weights to indicators at all levels, and score RMPP in each district (Table 4).
Table 4 The RMPP evaluation index system
Level 1 indicators Weight Secondary indicators Weight Tertiary indicators Weight Description of indicators
0.30 Resource abundance 0.30 The number of ICH at the international level 0.30 1 item: 1 point; 2-3 items: 2 points; 4-5 items: 3 points; 6-10 items: 4 points; 11-15 items: 5 points: 16-20 items: 6 points; 21-25 items: 7 points; 26-30 items: 8 points; 31-35 items: 9 points; ≥36 items: 10 points
The number of ICH at the municipal level in Beijing 0.30 1 item: 1 point; 2-3 items: 2 points; 4-5 items: 3 points; 6-10 items: 4 points; 11-15 items: 5 points; 16-20 items: 6 points; 21-25 items: 7 points; 26-30 items: 8 points; 31-35 items: 9 points; ≥36 items: 10 points
The authenticity of cultural importance 0.40 Scores are based on information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Tourability 0.55 Investment in tourism development 0.30 The greater the investment in tourism development of a single ICH resource, the lower the score, the more comprehensive tourism investment in each district, the higher the score, and the experts weigh the score
Technical difficulty of tourism development 0.30 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Visible, perceptible, participatory 0.40 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Inheritors 0.15 Number of people 0.50 According to the statistics of national and municipal non-genetic inheritors, 20 people and above are 10 points, and each decrease of 2 people decreases by 1 point in turn
Age level 0.50 The higher the age concentration, the lower the score, and the experts weigh the score according to the concentration information
Market foundation 0.15 Market size 0.35 Tourism revenue 0.50 Based on the five-year average tourism revenue, 10 points for more than 10 billion yuan, and 1 point less than 1 billion yuan each
Number of tourist receptions 0.50 Based on the average number of tourists in the five years, the number of people received is 10 points for more than 10 million, and the number of visits is reduced by 1 point by 1 point respectively
Consumption potential 0.30 Source of visitors 0.50 The main scores in Beijing and the surrounding areas of Beijing are the highest, and the more scattered the sources, the lower the score, and the experts weigh the score
The balance of consumption structure such as catering, accommodation, ticket tourism, and cultural tourism commodities 0.50 The more homogeneous the structure, the lower the score, and the experts weigh the score
Media marketing 0.35 Traditional media platforms 0.45 TV, newspaper, outdoor, communications, radio and other platform exposure, experts weigh the score
New media utilization 0.55 Xiaohongshu, Weibo, WeChat and other topics are comprehensively evaluated on the utilization rate and clicks, and the experts weigh the score
Government support 0.20 Financial support 0.35 Total amount of funds 0.55 The total amount of supporting funds (unit: 103 yuan): 0-99: 0 point; 100-199: 1 point; 200-299: 2 points; 300-399: 3 points; 400-499: 4 points; 500-599: 5 points; 600-699: 6 points; 700-799: 7 points; 800-899: 8 points; 900-999: 9 points; ≥1000: 10 points
source of funds 0.45 The more single the source of resources, the lower the score, and the experts weigh the score
Policies and regulations 0.35 Implementation of national and Beijing municipal policies 0.55 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Special policies for the district 0.45 The formulation of 2 or more special policies in the district is 10 points, and no special policy experts weigh the score, and it is not higher than 5 points
Talent security 0.30 Number of ICH management talents 0.50 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Number of ICH development talents 0.50 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Tourism products 0.35 Festivals/
Exhibition performance
0.35 Frequency of festivals 0.20 The frequency of activities is 10 times a year and above 10 points, and each time is reduced, it will be reduced by 1 point
The impact of festivals 0.20 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
ICH art exhibition performances 0.25 Held 5 times a year or more with 10 points, and 2 points are reduced for every time less than 1 time
Reproduction of ICH art 0.35 The display of ICH in artistic works such as stage plays, live performances, immersive experiences, film and television is comprehensively scored according to the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Experience hall/Cultural creativity 0.25 Quantity and quality of cultural and creative products 0.50 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
Number and utilization rate of experience halls 0.50 Both state-owned and private experience museums are included in the statistics, and the number of ICH experience halls of 5 or more is 10 points, and each less is reduced by 2 points
ICH studies 0.15 Number of ICH research bases 0.50 There are 2 ICH research bases above the municipal level with 10 points, and the others are scored according to the experts’ weighing, and none of the non-heritage research bases are not higher than 3 points
Non-genetic workshops 0.50 10 points for holding 5 or more non-genetic workshops every year, 2 points for each less, and 0 points for non-genetic classes
Integrated tourism 0.25 The degree of integration and development of ICH tourism with other theme tourism 0.10 Comprehensive scoring is based on the information provided by the project team and the experience of experts
The authority coefficient of experts comes from their self-evaluation, mainly determined by three factors: their academic level (q1), the basis for their judgment (q2), and their familiarity with the content (q3). It is generally believed that an expert authority coefficient greater than 0.70 indicates reliable research results. According to the self-evaluation of experts, the composition of expert authority coefficients for this evaluation is shown in Table 5.
Table 5 Authority coefficient of experts
Expert Academic level Judgment basis Familiarity level Individual authority coefficient
Expert 1 1.0 0.8 0.8 0.87
Expert 2 1.0 0.8 0.8 0.87
Expert 3 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.83
Expert 4 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.80
Expert 5 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.80
Expert 6 1.0 0.7 0.6 0.77
Expert 7 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.73
Comprehensive authority coefficient 0.81

Note: The comprehensive authority coefficient of experts is 0.81>0.70, and the results of this expert survey are valid.

Through analysis and evaluation, it is found that the richness of ICH resources in the suburbs of Beijing has decreased sharply compared with the six urban areas, and the spatial distribution is scattered (Fig. 6). Although there are representative ICH resources in each district, the degree of development and utilization is limited, and the utilization mode is single. Tongzhou District has the highest score, and Daxing District has the lowest score (Fig. 7). In terms of ICH resources, Tongzhou District and Yanqing District have a good resource foundation. In terms of market foundation, Yanqing District and Miyun District are relatively good. In terms of product development, Tongzhou District and Shunyi District are better. In terms of policy support, Tongzhou District, Fangshan District, Yanqing District, and Miyun District all scored above 8 points (Fig. 6).
Fig. 6 The RMPP radar map of ICH in each district of Beijing
Fig. 7 The score of comprehensive evaluation of Intangible Cultural Heritage RMPP in each district

4.1 Weak awareness of ICH inheritance

By conducting iterative questionnaire surveys and collecting anonymous opinions from experts, consensus is achieved among multiple parties. This iterative process incorporates feedback, leading to the development of a scientific and rational summary evaluation method. Moreover, due to economic interests, ICH resources that are easy to produce economic benefits are prioritized for development. However, the ICH resources that are difficult to create economic benefits in the short term have received less attention. For example, as of November 13, 2022, there are 903 registered ICH resources in Pinggu District, however, due to the limitations of socio-economic development conditions, most of the ICH resources are not wellknown and their cultural values are not recognized by the society, except for 1 national ICH item and 5 municipal ICH items.

4.2 Insufficient integration of ICH tourism resources

Beijing boasts a wealth of ICH, characterized by a broad distribution of items and outstanding features. However, the distribution of ICH resources in different districts is uneven, and resources are mainly concentrated in the urban area, with less distribution in the suburbs. ICH resources exhibit robust regional characteristics. The richness, scarcity, and recreation value of these resources serve as significant driving forces for the development of tourism destinations. The resource base in rural areas stands as a key condition for the integrated development of culture and tourism (Tang, 2023a). Primarily, each district in Beijing engages in independent efforts due to its large geographical area. The lack of coordination between these regions results in an inability to fully leverage the overall benefits of ICH tourism resources. This leads to a regional imbalance in the integration impact of ICH tourism.

4.3 Constraints on the level of rural development

The distribution of ICH resources in the suburbs of Beijing is dispersed, with low concentration and a relatively singular resource landscape. Resource development relies on specific advantages or representative resources. Constrained by the level of economic development, there is a lack of development capacity in ICH tourism. The high development costs result in insufficient productization and development of other rural cultural heritage resources, leading to a relatively small scale. the lack of skilled professionals hampers the prominence of the concept of rural cultural and tourism integration. In this scenario, the rudimentary development model often neglects cultural implications, emphasizing the development of cultural resources while lacking comprehensive consideration of the entire industrial chain. Consequently, the industrial linkage remains weak.

4.4 Ambiguities in the rights and responsibilities for the protection of ICH

In reality, the subjects involved in the protection of ICH include multiple identities, and due to differences in status and motivation, each “protection” force showcases its strengths and weaknesses. This ultimately leads to ambiguity in the responsibilities and obligations of each protection subject. The constructive energy of all parties involved in the protection of ICH cannot be fully harnessed and has a negative impact (He, 2005). There is an interweaving of multiple power discourses, in the current practice of ICH tourism protection and development, that is mixed with the power struggle for protection and production. In this context, the government and market forces are too strong, and the “social participation” of ICH investors and the public is missing. ICH tourism relies on the existence of the market and has the purpose of obtaining economic benefits, and its production process will involve different classes of subjects. The specific manifestations include the lack of comprehensive supervision by government departments over the development and utilization of rural cultural resources, or the restriction of the freedom of individual inheritors or groups of rural ICH in their lives and cultural innovations. The lack of discourse power of the main force of rural ICH protection directly affects the inheritance and protection of ICH.

5 Development proposals

5.1 Resources and scientific planning: Achieving the comprehensive development of ICH and tourism resources

Beijing has abundant ICH tourism resources, outstanding local characteristics, and great development potential, but its regional development plans are not balanced. in the development of ICH tourism, Beijing should focus on overcoming administrative boundaries, reinforcing the integration of surrounding tourism resources, and preventing the fragmentation of scattered tourism resources through the organic integration of various ICH resources. Intangible cultural heritage possesses the characteristics of ‘one place, one specialty, one region, and one product’. Therefore, in the process of resource utilization, it is imperative to adhere to the principle of adapting measures to local conditions and coordinated protection. This requires a market-oriented and resource-oriented approach, emphasizing diversified, multi-directional, and characteristic development. Formulating differentiated functions and formats for the development of ICH tourism becomes crucial. As an example, concerning geographical scope, the establishment of boutique routes for ICH themed tourism involves stringing together different styles and types of ICH in each district based on their geographical distribution. This approach results in a series of themed tourism products, including folk tourism, creative exhibitions, and cultural performances. Such initiatives not only allow tourists to experience the allure of diverse ICH but also foster the vibrant development of the cultural tourism industry. Additionally, it stimulates rural tourism consumption, contributing to the expansion of the influence and appeal of ICH.

5.2 Market and model innovation: Enhancing the utilization rate of non-heritage industries

At present, the development mode of ICH tourism has reached a level of maturity and can be categorized into various types such as museums, cultural festivals, performing arts, theme spaces (theme blocks, theme parks), tourism commodities, film and television development, and theme tourism routes. Intangible cultural heritage, intertwined with modern life, has evolved into a cultural tourism product popular among tourists. In terms of model innovation, there is an opportunity to actively promote a new model of agricultural cultural heritage tourism, fostering the formation of an integrated industrial chain involving ‘agriculture, culture, and tourism’. Within the context of the rural revitalization strategy, the promotion of this ‘new model’ of agricultural cultural heritage tourism allows tourists to learn and experience traditional agricultural knowledge and technology. It aims to raise awareness of the value of traditional agricultural culture and safeguard the traditional knowledge, technology, and folk culture dispersed in rural areas (Hsu et al., 2022). At the same time, it also has a sustained and stable positive impact on the development of rural revitalization. For example, Pinggu District of Beijing has a good ecological resource endowment, and the superior ecological environment is indirectly transformed into the material basis of tourism resources and attractions in the process of tourism development. Pinggu Sizuolou hemp walnut has a long history, the hemp walnut tree has an important agricultural culture. In 2015, the “Beijing Pinggu Sizuolou Hemp Walnut Production System” was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture as an important agricultural cultural element in China. Taking the Sizuolou hemp walnuts as a starting point, the production of cultural walnuts and the development of agricultural cultural heritage tourism can expand the brand influence of the Sizuolou hemp walnuts and realize the promotion of rural revitalization with cultural industries.

5.3 Products and gradient development: Fostering the productive safeguarding

China has put forward the idea of productive protection of ICH. This is a protection method of transforming ICH and its resources into cultural products through production, circulation, and sales. A certain degree of commercialization is required to make the cultural value of ICH known to tourists. The theory of gradient development originated from the “industrial production life cycle theory” in the United States (Vernon, 1966). However, exploiting ICH tourism resources blindly may lead to excessive commercialization, thereby distorting the original ecological ICH. There is an imbalance in the level of economic and technological development in different regions in Beijing, which makes the integration effect of ICH and tourism different from those of tourism itself. Consequently, the protection and development of ICH can be achieved through gradient divisions. This entails the development of tourism products at different gradient levels, focusing on the characteristics of various regions and types of intangible cultural heritage. The approach involves a hierarchical and tailored development, aiming to establish a systematic hierarchy of gradient tourism products. This development idea is in line with the concept of productive protection of “transforming ICH resources into cultural products”, which is conducive to promoting the comprehensive development of Beijing’s tourism product system, improving the system and structure of tourism products, and promoting the comprehensive and coordinated development of Beijing’s cultural tourism industry.

5.4 Policy: Implementing precision policies to ensure targeted support

The characteristics of ICH render its form, type, and other aspects more complex than material cultural heritage. This complexity poses challenges in adopting comprehensive protection measures and methods. Consequently, in terms of policy implementation, it becomes imperative to scientifically and reasonably classify and develop protection measures and means for specific forms and types. Implementing a classified management approach can more effectively protect ICH. Dynamic monitoring establishes a mechanism for law enforcement and inspection of intangible cultural heritage and supervises and inspects the implementation of laws and regulations. On the other hand, it is necessary to maintain a focus on representative items of ICH in Beijing that are on the brink of extinction and difficult to inherit. Government departments should focus on exploring the implementation of various policies such as special fund assistance, the income status of intangible cultural heritage inheritors, and whether subsequent support is in place. Each regional administrative department should also regularly verify and dynamically adjust the information on the protection of ICH in the region. For facing challenges in the protection of unstable ICH and limited income generation capabilities for ICH inheritors, it is crucial to identify and subsequently enhance support measures.

6 Conclusions

In the context of China’s rural revitalization strategy, ICH tourism is the key development direction and focus of ICH protection and rural tourism. The vast countryside serves as the primary nurturing ground for ICH in China. Leveraging ICH resources for the development of rural tourism holds significant potential and is a pivotal driving force for rural revitalization. Beijing’s ICH encompasses literature, culture, history, and various aspects of each village, serving as a distinctive highlight in the development of rural tourism resources. Drawing inspiration from the development and utilization of rural intangible cultural heritage resources both domestically and internationally, the future development of intangible cultural heritage tourism resources in Beijing should focus on reinforcing the extraction and application of intangible cultural heritage symbols. Encouraging the rational utilization of intangible cultural heritage resources in tourist attractions, museums, parks, and other areas for literary and artistic creation and creative design is essential. Building upon the characteristics and distribution of intangible cultural heritage resources, the aim is to establish intangible cultural heritage towns with distinct Beijing characteristics, thereby promoting the concentrated development of the intangible cultural heritage tourism industry. Simultaneously, advocating for the collaboration of “intangible cultural heritage + internet” and expanding the promotion and sales channels of related products is vital. The rich cultural resource value inherent in this approach can offer inexhaustible economic resources for the development of the rural economy, facilitating the transformation and upgrade of rural cultural industries and elevating the living standards of farmers to a new level.
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