From the People’s Daily app.
This is Story in the Story.
Red tourism sites have attracted more visitors in recent years and are receiving huge investment from the Chinese government.
In 2017, China had 33,315 revolutionary sites and relics on record. More than 800 million "red tourism" trips are made on average every year.
China's National Development and Reform Commission has encouraged more efforts to preserve revolutionary sites and released a list of red tourism sites in 2015.
In 2016, a total of 1.55 billion yuan (roughly $228.3 million) was spent to support "red tourism," according to the Ministry of Finance.
While tours to former Communist revolutionary bases have been available for years, a recent guideline issued by central authorities upped the game by demanding better protection and use of cultural relics.
“We will take this opportunity to advance the study of relics in order to let them play a unique role in promoting core socialist values,” Rao Quan, an official with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said recently.
Today’s Story in the Story will look at the world’s growing interest in “red tourism” sites of historical interest and the wide variety of benefits they provide.
China has 33,315 revolutionary sites and relics on record. More than 800 million "red tourism" trips are made on average every year. (Photo: VCG)
Mao Haofu, 28, has returned from studying in Britain to his hometown in Ciping in east China's Jinggangshan City, which was the first rural revolutionary base established in 1927 by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
He is now an on-site teacher at Jiangxi Executive Leadership Academy. Although most tourists are Chinese, he is prepared to tell the Party's story in English.
He has been influenced by his father and grandfather, both masters of Party history, as well as his colleagues who have devoted themselves to teaching despite poor living conditions.
“I felt a sense of achievement when I saw more foreign officials come to our academy. They were keen to know more about our country,” he said.
Kuang Sheng, vice president of the China Executive Leadership Academy of Jinggangshan, said the world is eager to know more about the CPC and the Chinese path and experience, as the country offers specific wisdom and approaches to solving problems.
At another revolutionary site, Xibaipo, in Pingshan County of north China's Hebei Province, Duan Keqian, a tour guide of the Xibaipo Memorial Hall, was busy preparing an English version of her speech.
Xibaipo is an old revolutionary base where the leadership of the CPC was garrisoned from May 1948 till early 1949, drawing up the blueprint for a new country and preparing for the CPC's new role as the ruling party.
Russian national Andrey Lyakh, 45, visited Xibaipo after doing business in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, about a two-hour drive away.
“I have heard of Lenin and Mao Zedong since I was a child, and I think they are all great men,” Lyakh said. “The site impressed me very much.”
Ruijin, east China's Jiangxi Province, is known as the cradle of the People's Republic of China and the starting point of the Long March of the Red Army. (Photo: Xinhua)
Red tours are not only booming in China, but also Russia since the two governments have signed agreements to boost such activities in recent years.
China's red tourism sites are drawing a large number of Russian tourists, particularly Hunan, hometown of Chinese revolutionary figures Mao, Liu Shaoqi and Peng Dehuai, currently has 140 red tourist sites.
In 2015, some 4,500 people from Hunan visited Russia on red tours. In 2016, the number rose more than 72 percent year-on-year to more than 7,700.
At the tourist sites, visitors can view historic posters of revolutionary heroes, read stories of their early life and activities, try on red soldier uniforms, and enjoy local foods and performances.
Li Yalan, a Hunan-based tour guide with China Travel Service, said her company averages 15 Russian tour groups per month – accounting for some 35,000 Russian tourists last year.
Like St. Petersburg, local authorities in Hunan also organized specially designed red tours for Russian visitors, with products such as "The early life of Mao Zedong" and "The War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Hunan" proving quite popular.
“We hope to create great itineraries to boost the development of red tourism,” said an official with the provincial tourism development commission.
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Raymond Mendoza and Lance Crayon. Music by: bensound.com. Text from China Daily, Xinhua and Global Times.)