June 25, 2024

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Resource Express | 2024 Thematic Report on New Media Communication of World Heritage Sites in China

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Cultural and natural heritage are valuable resources of promoting sustainable development. Digital technology advancement has made new media platforms an important carrier to promote heritage protection and has brought in an increasing number of young people to join in the process, thanks to its powerful influence and outreach.


In this context, within the framework of UNESCO – China Youth Development Foundation Mercedes-Ben Star Fund “Conservation and Management of World Heritage Sites in China” Phase IV, the research team of Communication University of China carried out the third year “New Media Communication of World Heritage Sites in China”. Focusing on the theme on “New media makes youth an important force in heritage protection”, the 2024 Thematic Report on New Media Communication for Sustainable Livelihood in Pilot Sites analyzes the current status of new media communication of World Heritage and living heritage, and provides prospects for future work on heritage protection.


The report consists of three sections: 1) Status Quo of New Media Communication about World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage in China, 2) Youth in New Media Communication of World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage in China, and 3) Prospects. Some key findings include: 


  • Reportage on heritage promotion, presentation and utilization accounts for 68.92% out of the total pool of public information on World Heritage in China disseminated through social media.

  • 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the Grand Canal being inscribed on the World Heritage List. With The Millennium Grand Canal documentary series released in February 2024, the Grand Canal World Heritage site continues to draw public and media attention.

  • The Cultural Landscape of Old Tea Forests of Jingmai Mountain in Pu’er has gained increasing public and media attention since it has become China’s 57th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • In the past year, youth plays a major role in living heritage transmission on the popular internet platform of Douyin (Chinese TikTok), with 1,116 content creators being living heritage bearers and practitioners under the age of 30, including 116 verified creators. Millennials and Gen Zs are the major consumers of ICH goods on the platform. Out of the 100 top living heritage product sellers, 37% are under the age of 35.

  • Young living heritage bearers and World Heritage site managers of the five project pilot sites are actively promoting youth to join in the process of heritage protection through new media channels.

  • The report suggests that new media should and will play a more active role in the digitalization of interactive content for heritage protection and education.

  • AI technology will be a key to promote innovations on heritage protection and further raise public awareness of heritage values. 


Click the attached file below to access the full report in Chinese. For English version, please contact UNESCO Regional Office for East Asia: beijing.culture@unesco.org.


For previous years’ report: 2022 Thematic Report in Chinese, 2022 Thematic Report in English, 2023 Thematic Report in Chinese, 2023 Thematic Report in English.


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