Study on the Development of Marine Cultural Tourism of Dalian


Dalian is one of the famous coastal tourist cities in China, with a unique geographical location. This paper studies the development of marine cultural tourism in Dalian by means of literature analysis and data analysis. This paper holds that the existing problems of Dalian marine cultural tourism are as follows: Covid-19 impact; Serious pollution of marine resources; Weak brand competitiveness of marine cities; and missing talent. Combined with analysis and the author’s personal knowledge base, this paper believes that paying attention to marine ecological environment protection, excavating cultural resources and personnel training are helpful to break the barriers of Dalian marine cultural tourism, so as to promote the development of Dalian marine cultural tourism.

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Juma, T. and Gao, H. (2022) Study on the Development of Marine Cultural Tourism of Dalian. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 12, 1238-1248. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2022.127068.

1. Introduction

Marine cultural tourism refers to a kind of tourism activity that makes use of the cultural landscape, marine space of tourism destination and marine natural resources to encourage tourists to appreciate the charm of marine culture and obtain spiritual satisfaction through personal experience, sightseeing and learning (Guo, 2022a). Marine cultural tourism’s development could promote the transformation and upgrading of tourism industry and help to build a modern livable coastal city (Liu, 2020). Dalian has unique geographical conditions and climate environment, which had endowed Dalian city with abundant marine cultural resources and played a significant role in promoting the development of Dalian’s marine cultural tourism (Guo, 2014). This paper combines current situation and characteristics of Dalian, carries out multi-angle integration and analysis, then puts forward relevant countermeasures for existing problems. Taking the help of Dalian’s marine cultural resources to realize the sustainable development of the ocean and enhance the competitiveness of marine cultural tourism.

After analyzing the background of Dalian marine tourism cultural resources, this paper mainly studies the development status of Dalian marine cultural resources from two aspects: study discussions and study suggestions via literature analysis and data analysis and finally summarizes the full text.

2. Background

Recently, tourism industry has become an important industry in the development of the national economy. The development of tourism trends to sea tour from land tour (Zheng & Chen, 2018). Meantime, culture as the main influencing factor of tourism development runs through the development process of marine civilization. Furthermore, in order to develop marine tourism, it is important to make combination analyze of marine and cultural resources in order to optimize the development structure of marine tourism (Chang, 2020). Specifically, enriching marine cultural tourism and improving the sustainable development ability of marine cultural tourism can not only improve the economic development level, but also an important manifestation of Chinese comprehensive strength. In particular, there is still a large gap between Chinese marine cultural tourism and other countries (Liu, 2021). Dalian is one of China’s 14 coastal open cities, an important port city in Liaoning Province, and an important gateway to the opening up of Northeast China (Zhang & Lin, 2011). Dalian marine cultural resources are mainly divided into the following kinds: Marine ecological cultural resources; Marine geological and cultural resources; Marine folk culture resources.

2.1. Marine Ecological Cultural Resources

Ecological culture refers to a kind of green culture. Its concept has penetrated deeply into people’s production and life. People’s expectations for the beautiful natural ecological environment such as blue sky, green mountains and clear water are becoming stronger and stronger. Great quality of life and ecological environment have been closely and positively correlated. Ecological culture has become an objective demand to meet the people’s voice for a better life (Li & Liu, 2020). This paper holds that ecological culture refers to a new value concept of harmonious coexistence between man and nature and benign interaction between urban economy and natural resources, including both natural ecology and human ecology, and marine ecological culture refers to the protecting culture of marine natural ecological resources. Dalian is the habitat of many precious animals and plants, which is formed by the combined effect of its superior geographical location, rich marine resources and suitable climate. For example, the LaoTieShan protection zone, which was included in the UNESCO “man and biosphere” program in 2013, mainly protects Agkistrodon halys and various rare seabirds. Moreover, spotted seal protection zone mainly protects spotted seals and their ecological environment; Haiwang Jiudao protection zone mainly protects coastal landforms, coastal landscapes and marine birds; the Laopian Island protection zone mainly protects marine organisms and their marine ecosystems, karst and marine erosion landform (Zheng & Li, 2013). The establishment of marine reserves can not only protect the habitats of precious animals and plants, but also help to enhance the environmental awareness of residents and tourists

2.2. Marine Geological and Cultural Resources

Dalian Binhai National Geopark was approved as the fourth batch of National Geoparks in China on September 19, 2005, which was the only coastal zone National Geopark in China represented by coastal zone strata and geomorphic landscape (Liu et al., 2016). The Jinshitan nature reserve of Dalian Binhai National Geopark is one of the most well-known and popular scenic spots over the world. In the park, various geomorphic landscapes formed by crustal movement and long-term tectonic erosion could be seen everywhere. There are numerous marine erosion geomorphic landscapes such as turtle back stone, mirs spreading wings, carp leaping into the water, etc (Wen, 2016). The typical and unique features of faults, folds, Mesozoic volcanic rocks, strata and Paleontology in the park, which was a base for geological science popularization and geoscience teaching in northern China (Wen, 2016). The combination of natural resources and cultural elements could not only highlight the diversity of China’s geological landforms and provide a basis for geological investigation, but also meet the research needs of tourists at various levels, accept cultural influence, and become a broad market for study tourism in the future.

2.3. Marine Folk Culture Resources

Traditional tourism activities combined with folk culture, which not only refers to the collision between man and nature, but also a series of elements such as folk customs, history and culture, architectural features and so on. The combination of folk culture and tourism helps to promote the upgrading of tourism structure, increase the connotation of tourism culture, and accelerate the prosperity and development of economy (Yang & Kong, 2020). Moreover, marine culture is the most important feature of Dalian tourism resources, and excavating marine cultural resources could help to make full use of Dalian’s characteristic festival culture (Zhang & Song, 2012). As a kind of tourism resources, marine folk culture could greatly meet the current needs of people for high-grade and high-level tourism activities (Kong & Yang, 2018). Dalian’s marine folk culture is extremely local characteristics. Specifically, the International Fishing Festival, the Changhai Island sacrifice activities and the Changhai fisherman’s customs Festival are all unique folk cultures in Liaoning Province, China. In addition, Dalian’s military cultural resources, sports cultural resources, port cultural resources, salt cultural resources and other cultural customs have also promoted the prosperity and development of Dalian’s marine cultural tourism to a certain extent (Guo, 2014).

3. Discussion

3.1. Analysis on Dalian Tourism

According to Figure 1, this paper believes that the tourism industry in Dalian show a gentle development stage before 2019. After that, due to the impact of COVID-19, the number of tourists dropped sharply. After 2021, it got temporary development space. Moreover, from Figure 2, this paper finds that there is a positive correlation between tourism economic income and the number of tourists in Dalian.

Adapted from (Statistical Bulletin of Dalian National Economic and Social Development).

Figure 1. Changes in the number of tourists in Dalian in the past five years.

Adapted from (Statistical Bulletin of Dalian National Economic and Social Development).

Figure 2. Dalian’s tourism economic income in the past five years.

3.2. COVID-19 Impact

According to the data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization on January 28, 2021, the COVID-19 has led to a significant reduction in the number of global tourists. In 2020, the global tourism revenue lost $1.3 trillion, making 2020 the “worst year in the history of tourism” (Sina News). Affected by COVID-19, China’s tourism industry has also suffered a heavy blow. The number of coastal tourists has decreased sharply, cruise tourism has stagnated in an all-round way, and the annual added value has reached 1392.4 billion yuan, down nearly 1/4 from 2019 (Ministry of Natural Resources Website).

During this situation, the development of marine cultural tourism was in a crisis stage. Meantime, it is also facing new opportunities for innovative development. Dalian’s government and tourism practitioners need to expand their thinking, innovate and develop multi-channel tourism on the basis of maintaining the competitiveness of the traditional tourism industry. With the help of 5 G, VR and other technical tools, it could meet a variety of tourism needs of tourists, realize the experience of marine culture without leaving home, inject more local characteristic elements into Dalian’s marine cultural tourism, and revitalize the glory of Dalian’s marine cultural tourism.

3.3. Serious Pollution of Marine Resources

The ocean covers about 71% of the earth’s area and is an important foundation for the survival and development of all mankind (Wang & Wang, 2022).

On the one hand, due to the rapid development of China’s economy and the gradual increase of residents’ income, the demand for marine products was growing rapidly, but excessive marine development was likely to cause serious damage to the marine ecosystem. The quantity of aquaculture in some sea areas and rivers in Dalian seriously exceeded the standard, and the abuse of bait and drugs eventually led to marine pollution. Wild fishing, unrestrained fishing will lead to a sharp decline in the number of marine organisms, even affect biodiversity, and make some endangered species endangered (Xu & Xing, 2020).

On the other hand, Dalian has always played a very important role in economic development. The developed port trade could promote the rapid economic growth of Dalian, but it also accelerates the severe pollution of Dalian and its surrounding waters, especially ship and industrial pollution. The most serious one was the Dalian oil pipeline explosion on July 16, 2010, which resulted in an area of nearly 100 square kilometers polluted by crude oil, including about 10 square kilometers with serious oil pollution (Sohu News).

The ocean in Dalian area not only bears the huge pressure of land-based pollution discharge, but also bears the environmental pollution caused by shipbuilding and offshore oil development (Liu & Du, 2019). At the same time, the efforts to control pollution sources are limited, individual enterprises discharge pollutants in violation of regulations, increase seawater pollution, ship oil leakage and other accidents have also increased the difficulty of marine governance. This paper holds that in the face of such serious and complex marine pollution, the Dalian municipal government must establish perfect laws and regulations to prevent ship and industrial pollution.

3.4. Weak Brand Competitiveness of Marine Cities

Marine culture is the core content of urban cultural symbols and an important embodiment of modern urban competitiveness, and the level of Dalian’s urban core competitiveness depends on the development of marine culture in a certain (Zhang, 2021). With the rapid development of social economy, the competition among various coastal tourism cities in China is becoming increasingly fierce. For instant, Xiamen develops with the characteristics of high-end tourism “small fresh” market, Qingdao develops with the characteristic culture of the old urban area as the city brand, in addition, Sanya, Yantai, Weihai, Tianjin and other cities also have own characteristics in tourism development (Wang & Bai, 2017). There are a large number of coastal cities in China, and the marine tourism destination has strong substitutability. The marine tourism industry in Dalian is vulnerable to the severe challenge of the competition of the same type of others. Compared with most coastal tourism cities in China, Dalian’s tourism products do not have their own characteristics and lack core competitiveness, which makes it difficult for Dalian’s tourism industry to achieve breakthrough development (Han, 2014). Dalian’s marine culture industry is still in its infancy. Most of the marine culture industry is small-sized enterprises, few of them are specialized in the operation of marine culture industry. Most of the enterprises specialize in other industries and concurrently operate marine culture industry (Zhang & Lin, 2011). It is difficult for Dalian’s marine culture industry to form a brand effect in a short time, and the resources of the marine culture industry are scattered and difficult to concentrate, lacking the competitiveness of the marine city brand (Zhang, 2021).

3.5. Missing the Talent

In the process of urban development, talents, as the first resource, play a key role in promoting economic and social development (Feng, 2019). Talent was an important driving force for the development of each city, which also was the basis for the long-term and stable development of its urban economy. Due to the lagging economic development, the institutional and structural contradictions in Northeast China have gradually emerged. In addition, the southeast coastal areas are becoming more and more attractive to talents, which cause a large number of brain drain phenomenon in Northeast China (Guo, 2021b). Although Dalian is the most developed coastal tourism city in Liaoning Province, it still hasn’t got rid of the current situation of brain drain. According to the relevant statistics of Dalian Tourism Development Committee, there are currently more than 500 travel agencies in Dalian, with a total staff of more than 5000. However, the employees of travel agencies, especially those in key positions such as tour guides, have high talent mobility (Li & Zhu, 2017). The key to the successful development of Dalian’s marine cultural tourism industry was the innovative development of experiential tourism. The progress of the marine cultural tourism industry is inseparable from excellent human resources. This paper holds that in order to develop the marine cultural tourism industry and drive the construction of Dalian’s marine central city, Dalian needs a large number of excellent marine cultural tourism talents.

4. Recommendation

4.1. Pay Attention to Marine Ecological Environment Protection

4.1.1. Improvement of Pollution Measures

Dalian government should formulate relevant measures for pollution prevention and control in combination with the actual situation and existing resources. Specifically, financial support lays the foundation for the improvement of pollution technology. More importantly, the actual control operation of transforming pollution prevention and control technology into achievements is an important guarantee for the operation of the policy. Improve supporting legal measures for ship pollution prevention and control (Du, 2017). Further explain, improve the environmental early warning and monitoring system, make dynamic evaluation and prior supervision on the potential and sudden ship pollution that may occur, and give early warning in case of pollution accidents, prevent the expansion of pollution, and stop the impact of emergencies on Dalian’s marine environment and surrounding areas in time.

Meantime, in view of industrial pollution, the government also needs to strengthen supervision and inspection, formulate corresponding punishment measures for enterprises deliberately destroying the marine environment, and control various pollution sources in industrial production.

Establish a perfect marine environment assessment index system. The government and enterprises should strictly follow the marine environment assessment index, assign relevant responsible persons to be responsible for the evaluation of the index system, and monitor the pollution of coastal enterprises in real time, to ensure that the pollution discharge of coastal industries meets the emission standards and total amount specified in environmental protection regulations, and reduce the pollution of marine industries.

Establish a marine ecosystem pollution monitoring system, form an information database of marine ecosystems, and provide a scientific and accurate calculation basis for the identification and assessment of marine ecological damage caused by ship pollution (Du, 2017).

4.1.2. Strengthen the Supervision of Scenic Spots

Dalian municipal government needs to strengthen the supervision of marine scenic spots, limit the excessive development of scenic spots to damage the marine ecological environment, and encourage scenic spots to reasonably protect and develop marine cultural resources. Meantime, the bathing beach can establish an intelligent environment monitoring system to monitor the climate conditions and tourism capacity of each marine area in real time, ensure that the tourist capacity of the bathing beach is within a reasonable range, and use the intelligent display screen to disclose the current urban temperature, wind speed, air quality and seawater temperature, so as to improve the experience and satisfaction of tourists to the environment of the bathing beach and scenic spots in Dalian.

Encourage tourists and residents to actively participate in the development and construction of marine cultural tourism, so that more people could understand, learn and publicize marine culture, which could improve the environmental protection awareness of tourists and residents. The government and scenic spots could jointly hold marine culture summer camps and other activities to attract student tourism. Through a variety of marine cultural activities, it could not only create a strong urban marine cultural atmosphere, but also help to establish new marine cultural values, maintain a virtuous cycle of marine ecological environment, promote the sustainable development of marine cultural industry, and build an international coastal tourism city.

4.2. Excavate Cultural Resources

In essence, tourism is a kind of cultural activity (Zhang, 2021). Both tourism consumption activities and tourism management activities have a strong cultural nature (Yang, 2014). Extensive development and homogeneous landscape hinder the creative and branding development of Dalian tourism products (Fan, 2021). The development of Dalian’s marine cultural resources should highlight local cultural characteristics, explore unique marine cultural tourism products, so as to improve the tourism competitiveness of Dalian, create a marine cultural industry brand in line with Dalian’s characteristics, and build a well-known tourist resort coastal city at home and abroad. In view of the current situation of Dalian’s marine culture, this paper believes that relying on the current resources, combined with urban construction, which could improve the service function of Dalian’s marine culture complex, deeply excavate the charm of marine culture, and promote the construction of Dalian’s urban cultural impression. Therefore, the development of marine tourism in Dalian would be promoted.

4.3. Personnel Training

Relevant professionals are a necessary condition for the development of marine tourism (Jang, 2015). The development of marine cultural tourism products requires not only traditional management talents, but also innovative and creative talents who understand marine culture and science and technology. This paper holds that Dalian should focus on developing the marine culture industry in combination with IT, which means vigorously developing the marine culture pillar industry with intellectual property rights and competitiveness, to make the marine culture became a brand-new city brand of Dalian. Moreover, Dalian government should also work closely with marine scientific research institutions and universities to seize the opportunity in talent training, pay attention to the training of composite talents in marine tourism and science and technology, introduce advanced scientific research equipment, formulate reasonable scientific research objectives and plans, strengthen scientific research, provide perfect resource service allocation for talents, and promote the development and progress of the overall marine cultural industry in Dalian, We would also provide necessary professional training for the existing employees in the scenic spots, give full play to the public opinion guidance role of the Internet and other mass media, guide tourists to pay attention to marine culture, develop consumption hotspots in the marine culture industry, and encourage marine scientific and technological personnel to write easy to understand marine popular science books loved by teenagers while carrying out scientific research and innovation, to create a good atmosphere of marine culture.

5. Conclusion

The key to the development of marine cultural tourism in Dalian was the effective development and utilization of marine cultural resources, which requires Dalian to protect the marine ecological environment and maintain the natural habitat of marine rare animals and plants. On the basis of environmental protection, creating a city brand with marine culture, deeply excavating the connotation of Dalian’s marine cultural resources, which would benefit to create a new consumption hot spot in the marine cultural industry and use science and technology and other means to drive the high-quality development of the marine cultural industry, therefore, helping for realizing the harmonious development of the ocean and human society. In addition, there are some limitations in this paper, which was due to the limited knowledge of the author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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