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2020-2021 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present

Student Research from Berkeley:
Hangzhou, China and Quemoy, Taiwan

Frank Yen Wao, PhD Candidate
LAEP, University of California, Berkeley
Co-Partner, Hangzhou Yongtong Corp.


Li-Ying Hung, Undergraduate Student
Anthropology, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Visiting Student, University of California, Berkeley

Friday, May 13, 5:00PM-7:30PM PST

In Person: Room 219, the Gifford Room
Anthropology and Art Building
University of California, Berkeley, Campus

Or hosted on Zoom [join here] *no password needed

Frank Wen Yao: The Hangzhou Xixi Wetland Cultural Landscape Complex: Towards a Performative Future

Developed from an abandoned, culture-rich heritage village, the Xixi Wetland of Hangzhou, China, also known as the Xixi National Park, is the biggest wetland-based conservation and landscape complex in East Asia. Occupying 2,800 acres, the park is densely crisscrossed by six main watercourses and various ponds, lakes, and swamps. For centuries, the Xixi wetland has made tremendous contributions to Hangzhou’s diverse urban dynamics, including cultural developments, historical conservation, social-structural improvements, urban developments, and most importantly, ecological performance and its impact on the urban eco-fabric. Today, however, the wetland park is facing major criticism from academics and locals, and it generally pertains to five issues: 1. Is the park responsible for the emergence of new cultural forms? 2. Is the park performing well? 3. Is there a social and educational component to the ecological process? 4. Is the park sustained? and 5. Do wetlands or ecological parks define the future of civilization? A detailed analysis of these five aspects, together with the park’s historical evolution, allows for a convincing argument that although the Xixi wetland is indeed facing some challenges, it remains a successful project. However, other similar wetland projects do provide constructive references for improving Xixi as necessary. This research includes three parts: 1. organizes the wetland’s historical evolution. 2. Current condition: recognizes both the contributions and challenges that Xixi embodies to provide future designers with a good reference point. 3. Contrast Xixi Park with similar projects and propose new theoretical terminologies.

Li-Ying Hung: Branding #Quemoy In A Pseudo Way? An evaluation of pseudo-traveling-abroad strategy on marketing tourism.

After the outbreak of COVID-19, domestic tourism became more important worldwide due to the closure of national borders. With the loss of international visitors, most of whom are from Mainland China, the Kinmen government implemented a marketing strategy called ‘pseudo- traveling-abroad’ (PTA) that targets young Taiwanese communities to visit Quemoy. In the 2020 summer and 2021 spring, the number of total domestic visitors significantly increased, but it was unclear that the marketing strategy was the main cause of the increase. This essay argues that the discourse of PTA is problematic both for marketing and for the local community.

Through fieldwork, interviews, and literature analysis, the research points out that PTA doesn't directly cause an increase in the number of tourists. Rather, for young Taiwanese tourists, Quemoy is usually their backup option for traveling. Even though young Taiwanese tourists have been exposed to the imagination constructed by PTA through social media, it’s still not the main reason that brings them to Quemoy in 2022. Moreover, the local community has been aware of the potential negative effects disguised in the discourse of PTA. They think it’s a thought that undervalues Quemoy’s political and ideological position within national borders. They disagree with the discourse and use different marketing strategies to attract tourists.

Speaker Bios:
Frank Wen Yao is the partner of Hangzhou Yongtong Corporation, a 30 years old professional infrastructure planning and building firm based in Hangzhou, China, and Toronto Canada. The firm specializes in planning large-scale environmental infrastructure and designing various forms of the built environment. Notable works include Hangzhou West Lake’s southern side road planning and landscape design, Hangzhou Grand Canal waterfront transportation planning, and a few other joint-venture works in Toronto with local firms. Frank specializes in architecture design, urban design, and environmental planning. Frank graduated from Harvard University and Carleton University and has published works on various platforms including CUA Gallery, CU News-Press, the Building 22, GSD, and Hangzhou West Region Planning agencies.

Li-Ying Hung is a Senior, majoring in Anthropology at National Taiwan University, Taipei. She is spending a fifth year as an visiting student at U C Berkeley. She is interested in tourism, and economic anthropology, cultural heritage and revitalization, and crossing national borders. For her honors thesis research, she has carried out fieldwork in Quemoy (Kinmen), a Taiwanese island close to Xiamen (Amoy) on the PRC mainland.

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