Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

Tourismification of a Shui Village in the Mountainous Province of Guizhou (South China): Imaginaries and the Use of Landscape for Political Ends

This contribution questions the build-up of touristic imaginaries, through the tourismification of a Shui village located in the mountainous Province of Guizhou (China). The growth of the tourism industry in the rural areas driven by the State in the early 1980s, has been going on according to a highly standardised official model. Not only did it aim at fostering economic development, but also at making up national identity. It is founded on a stereotyped vision of the landscape, seen through the prism of the Mandarin ideal based on poetry, gardening and pictorial arts or Shanshui, literally ‘mounts and waters’, as well as on the folklorisation of ethnic minorities and the modernisation of the countryside. As such, it uses both landscape and populations as tools, through a national narrative of the greatness of the Chinese nation and the Han people with, in the background, the praise of the socialist ideal. Correlatively to the projection of Han imaginaries onto the daily landscape ...

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