China has seen a surge in the num­ber of vis­i­tors to ‘red tourism’ sites in re­cent weeks. Yang Feiyue re­ports.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

The re­cent mil­i­tary pa­rade and cel­e­bra­tion of the 90th an­niver­sary of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army has boosted in­ter­est in “red tourism”. And the num­ber of vis­i­tors who have trav­eled to his­tor­i­cal sites has in­creased across the board, ma­jor do­mes­tic travel agen­cies re­port.

The tourism is re­lated to his­tor­i­cal sites and places that record the rev­o­lu­tion led by the Com­mu­nist Party of China from 1921 to 1949.

And those who trav­eled to such sites in the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei area rose by 30 per­cent around Aug 1, ac­cord­ing to Lv­mama, an on­line tourist ser­vice plat­form.

Last year, such sites in the coun­try re­ceived roughly 1.15 bil­lion vis­its, up 11.7 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year, on­line travel agency Tu­niu re­ports, and tourism in­come from such vis­its was at 306.10 bil­lion yuan ($45.74 bil­lion), up 17.2 per­cent.

Bei­jing and Shang­hai, and the prov­inces of Zhe­jiang, Hu­nan, Jiangxi, Fu­jian, Guizhou, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu are the top 10 des­ti­na­tions for trav­el­ers seek­ing red tourism ex­pe­ri­ence, ac­cord­ing to Tu­niu.

“Bei­jing was where sev­eral ma­jor his­toric events oc­curred and houses many such sites, in­clud­ing Tian’an­men Square and for­mer res­i­dences of rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies,” says Zhao Huan, the pub­lic­ity man­ager with Tu­niu. “These places let peo­ple rem­i­nisce about the past.”

Travel prod­ucts, com­bin­ing red tourism el­e­ments, hik­ing and sight­see­ing are pop­u­lar in the sum­mer. And the school sum­mer va­ca­tion also helps to boost this kind of tourism.

“This is be­cause many par­ents take their chil­dren to such sites,” says Zhao.

Mil­i­tary-themed scenic spots, mu­se­ums and his­tor­i­cal sites also draw par­ents with chil­dren in Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to Tongcheng Net­work Tech­nol­ogy, an on­line travel agency in Jiangsu province.

Those be­tween 14 and 35 ac­counted for 80 per­cent of all such tourists, ac­cord­ing to Tongcheng.

Most such tourism sites fea­ture moun­tains and wa­ter, and al­low vis­i­tors to en­joy the “red spirit” while avoid­ing the sum­mer heat.

Mean­while, 10 red tourism routes con­nect­ing Bei­jing, Tian­jin and He­bei province were launched by lo­cal tourism au­thor­i­ties in early Au­gust. And nearly 100 red tourism spots were in­cluded for these routes. The routes tap into “red cul­ture”, while fo­cus­ing on travel ex­pe­ri­ences along the way.

The Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion abounds in such tourism sites and the most pop­u­lar ones in­clude the Bei­jing Mil­i­tary Mu­seum, the Lu­gou Bridge, the Dagu Fort, the Pingjin Cam­paign Me­mo­rial, the Mu­seum of the War of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion, and the Mon­u­ment to the Peo­ple’s He­roes.

The Mon­u­ment to the Peo­ple’s He­roes has seen hordes of vis­i­tors to the cap­i­tal over the years. The mon­u­ment, which sits at the cen­ter of Tian’an­men Square, con­sists of 17,000 pieces of gran­ite and white mar­ble with bas-re­liefs dis­play­ing eight ma­jor rev­o­lu­tion­ary episodes on the mon­u­ment’s pedestal.

The bas-re­liefs show­case the fight to free­dom in the course of the past cen­tury.

The for­mer res­i­dence of Soong Ching Ling in Bei­jing is a pop­u­lar draw.

The for­mer res­i­dence, lo­cated in Houhai, in Xicheng dis­trict, used to be the gar­den of a royal man­sion in the Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911).

Soong moved into the man­sion in 1963 and lived there un­til she passed away in 1981.

At the for­mer res­i­dence, vis­i­tors can see a large num­ber of pho­to­graphs, doc­u­ments and ob­jects show­cas­ing Soong’s life, es­pe­cially her par­tic­i­pa­tion in political ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Langyashan scenic spot is also a house­hold name as it was the spot where five mar­tyrs fought to their deaths more than 70 years ago.

The scenic spot in Yix­ian county, He­bei province, is pop­u­lar with vis­i­tors be­cause in ad­di­tion to com­mem­o­rat­ing the mar­tyrs, vis­i­tors can also en­joy the moun­tains, karst caves and forests in the area.

Yu Gan­qian, the deputy di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Tourism De­vel­op­ment, says: “Red tourism is a ma­jor high­light in Bei­jing”, and the cap­i­tal now has 100 govern­ment-ac­cred­ited scenic spots for this tourism.

Bei­jing au­thor­i­ties will also ar­range for re­tired PLA sol­diers to in­ter­act with col­lege stu­dents in Septem­ber as the idea is to teach them about his­tory, says Yu.

Last year, Bei­jing spent 57.10 mil­lion yuan on red tourism de­vel­op­ment, and park­ing lots, pedes­trian lanes, seat­ing, sign­boards and eco-toi­lets were pro­vided at var­i­ous his­tor­i­cal sites.

Con­tact the writer at yangfeiyue@ chi­nadaily.com.cn


Top: Lu­gou Bridge, also known as Marco Polo Bridge on the out­skirts of Bei­jing, is the site of the Lu­gouqiao In­ci­dent (July 1937), which led to full-scale war be­tween China and Ja­pan. Above: Shuangqing Villa, a for­mer im­pe­rial gar­den in the Fra­grant Hills Park in Bei­jing, served as the head­quar­ters of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party in 1949.

A statue of Li Dazhao, a found­ing mem­ber of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, at a Bei­jing me­mo­rial.

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