As China’s Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the popularity of “red tourism” is at an all-time high in the country.
What is Red tourism?
- Red tourism involves visiting places that are of historical and cultural importance for the party
- It also refers to visiting sites which have a modern revolutionary legacy.
More about Red tourism
- This project was launched in 2004
- The purpose of the project is to promote locations with historical and cultural significance to the ruling Communist Party’s history while also providing an impetus to tourism and local businesses.
- It also seeks to spread awareness about the history of the Communist Party of China starting from its origins.
- Historical events such as the Long March, the military retreat undertaken by the Red Army to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang in 1934, and the ascent to power of Mao Zedong are at the heart of the project.
- These sites form the core of a booming tourism industry that seeks to promote the party’s heritage
- ‘Red tourism’ reminds people of the sacrifices made by the leaders of the Communist party to forge a modern China. In doing so, it tries to entrench the party in the minds of the people by reinforcing ideology through history and tourism.
- Many of the red sites have museums and exhibitions on the history of the Communist Party of China
Important sites covered by red tourism are:
- Yan’an, Mao Zedong’s revolutionary base area where the Red Army arrived after the Long March
- Shaoshan, which is the birthplace of Mao
- Jinggangshan, where leading members of the Communist Party of China established their first rural base for the revolution in 1927
- Nanchang, the capital city of Jiangxi Province which witnessed a significant Uprising in 1927 led by Zhou Enlai and He Long (China’s supreme commander)
- Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province where the revolution led by the Communist Party of China began in October, 1927; and
- Zunyi in Guizhou Province which is dominated by ethnic minorities.
Economic importance of red tourism
- ‘Red tourism’ sites across China had more than 1.4 billion visits in 2019. The increased footfall means skyrocketing revenues the tourist visits raked in more than 400 billion ($62.2 billion) yuan of revenue in 2019, according to a revelation by the Chinese administration in a press conference.
- ‘Red tourism’ has also helped in the robust recovery of the tourism market in China after the pandemic.
- In 2020, there were more than 100 million ‘red tourists’ who contributed to 11% of domestic travel