Red Tourism Takes Off in China

Visitors flock to monuments and destinations associated with events and leaders of Chinas Communist Party
Former residence of Chairman Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, China
Former residence of Chairman Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, China

Domestic tour operators and other tourism related stakeholders in China are expecting to see a sharp increase in the number of travellers during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, starting June 12. A repeat of the tourism wave seen during the traditional Qingming Festival and the May Day holidays, all thanks to people&rsquos renewed interest in Red Tourism. 

The Red Tourism essentially involves monuments, memorials or destinations associated with the rise of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the leaders of the revolution and the party, or associated with landmark events. According to reports, the concept was introduced in 2004 but gained prominence in recent years. It received further boost with the CPC observing its 100th&nbspanniversary this year.

Some of the popular places which feature on most people&rsquos itinerary are Jinggangshan &ndash often called the cradle of Chinese communist revolution, Nanhu Lake in Zhejiang where the party held its First National Congress on a boat in 1921, site of the 1921 Communist meeting in Shanghai, a Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base in Harbin, Communist sites from WWII in Chongqing, Xifeng Concentration Camp, Mao Zedong&rsquos birthplace in Shaoshan, home of Deng Xiaoping in Sichuan province, and lots more.

According to a report by the Global Times, on May 31, China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism introduced 100 "excellent red tourism routes" running throughout the country for ready-to-go tourists, with train and entrance tickets for many red tourism sites already sold out or fully booked days before the coming holiday. It also reported that online booking of entry tickets for many of the popular sites were already sold out prior to the Dragon Boat Festival.

Seeing the rising interest in Red Tourism according to media reports, the Jiangxi province is planning to hold a China Red Tourism Expo with neighbour Hunan in October this year.

While the concept of Red Tourism has received a fair share of criticisms, it cannot be denied that for the Chinese travel industry, people&rsquos rising interest in these destinations and monuments has come as a big boost for business in the middle of the pandemic turmoil.

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