The digitization of cultural heritage is becoming more critical, including intangible heritage , historical sites , archaeological sites . We here developed and described a cultural heritage tourism subsystem, which applies a variety of technologies and methods (such as computer technology, IoT, photogrammetry, geographic information technology, VR technology, and environment assessment methods). We obtained a series of digital results and developed several digital products for tourism marketing and heritage protection.
We also integrated environmental assessment models to provide real-time and long-term assessment and management plans. We accounted for cultural heritage protection, tourism marketing, and management, and the development of cultural heritage tourism digital products. These products show the geographical characteristics of the heritage area, which is conducive to improved heritage protection and the sustainable development of tourism.
The salient point of our research is "integration", which is manifested by integrating multiple subsystems, and connecting themes of different perspectives (including cultural heritage protection, tourism marketing, management, and services) to provide a holistic system. Our important results and finding are now summarized.
(1) Through the use of comprehensive and diverse digital technologies, we obtained a wealth of digital results, including 3D large-scale terrain scenes, 3D cultural relic images, 360-degree panoramas, and pictures. This information was used to create a virtual tourism subsystem to display the regional characteristics of cultural landscape heritage sites through 3D scenes, popular science, and tourism recommendations to improve tourism marketing.
(2) IoT technology was combined with a tourist carrying capacity model and a PSR model to construct tourist flow and environmental subsystems. The tourist flow subsystem allows managers to monitor and manage the tourist flow using capacity models. The environmental subsystem allows the monitoring and management of the environment in real-time and non-real-time using an integrated PSR model.
(3) Finally, a new model of cultural heritage tourism was proposed, and a comprehensive platform for cultural heritage tourism was constructed. We developed products for Web, smartphone, and LED formats, integrating heritage protection and tourism development functions. The platform has rich visual content, including 3D models, maps, charts, and text.
Each subsystem in our comprehensive platform plays a fundamental role. The virtual tourism subsystem can be used before the actual visit to attract more tourists and to provide personalized tourism planning which can improve the virtual experience. Our approach provides a sound foundation, but the continued improvement of this part of the platform is an essential future task . The environmental management subsystem is also an important result of our approach, however, the integrated tourist capacity threshold used here only considered capacities of single scenic spots at a time. Future directions of study could extend the tourist capacity model to multiple entry/exit areas and scenic spots and could set model parameters and thresholds that meet the unique particularity of each scenic spot. Additionally, while our approach demonstrated the effectiveness of many novel elements, the model and parameters employed here were relatively simple and static. In the future, more attention should be paid to the practicality of the model, such as by setting a dynamic tourist capacity threshold, and how this information can be used to implement efficient evacuation plans in case of sudden emergencies. Finally, since the tourist flow subsystem integrates tourist identity information the privacy of users’ needs to be considered in greater detail in the future.