Eco-Heritage Tourism

"Eco-heritage" travel is a win-win path to protecting environmental and cultural assets while creating local jobs and investing in the community. JUCCCE sees Eco-heritage as an opportunity to provide government officials with greater economic incentives to save the environment and conserve natural resources. JUCCCE is looking to convene the different stakeholder types necessary to ramp up Eco-heritage capability in China from its nascent state- namely, mayors, the tourism industry, development banks, master planners, developers, local workers looking for jobs, and citizen groups interested in the health of the community. 

JUCCCE's Eco-heritage project aims to increase China's Eco-heritage capability by leveraging our government training program as a channel to bring best practices and inspiration to local urban planners across China. JUCCCE will be conducting two 3-day classes for 30 government officials with the China Executive Leadership Academy of Pudong on geotourism for sustainable cities in April and September of 2012. 

Watch JUCCCE-created videos presented to government officials here and here.



National Geographic calls this "geo-tourism", or travel that sustains and enhances the total character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Jonathan Tourtellot, a National Geographic fellow and the founding director of the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations who coined the term, said that a local tourism product will be a lot more competitive if its social fabric, ecology, architecture, cuisine, natural beauty, and its heritage are protected. 

Thoughtfully planned and implemented, Eco-heritage drives sustainability   

  • Destinations remain intact and unspoiled for future generations to experience.  
  • Tourism dollars promote conservation of local geographical, cultural and historical assets.   
  • The tourism industry functions as a critical foundation for a vibrant, green economy. 


Did you know that just 5% of mainstream tourism dollars stay in the local community?   Eco-heritage changes the conventional equation…  

  • Generates reliable jobs, businesses and income, and thus a sustainable local economy  
  • Assures the retention of a meaningful percentage of tourism dollars at local and regional levels
  • Alleviates long-standing poverty in rural areas 
  • Stems flight to the cities from rural areas
  • Strengthens residents’ pride in and knowledge of their region’s unique heritage, both geological and cultural 
  • Generates international awareness of the diverse assets and history throughout China
  • Preserves ancient, often one-of-a-kind cultural lifestyles
  • Preserves and creates ongoing sustainable access to some of the world’s most dramatic natural treasures   
  • Prevents the negative and even catastrophic impacts that can result from un-managed tourism (this has included both damage to rare geological sites and the exploitation of indigenous women and children worldwide)
  • Substantively reduces climate emissions in those locations which depend on tourism for employment  


Reena Gordon, Roy Montibon, Delphine Yip-Horsfield 叶凯欣, Christine Chen, Roy Graff


Special thanks to Chinese Executive Leadership Academy of Pudong 浦东干部学院, Warren Smith,  Christine Chen, Lucy Huang,  naked Retreats 裸心谷studio Shanghai, Manuela Zoninsein, Yan Nai Ling, Grant Horsfield 高天成, Gabriela Lo 卢家宝, Wendy Zhao 赵慧婷, Wenwei Ren 任文伟