“Red tourism” emerges among the remarkable revival of China’s domestic tourism business following the effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic. The country’s red landmarks are now at the heart of a burgeoning tourism sector aimed at promoting the party’s history.

Global Times claims that the number of individuals “participating in red tourism” has surged from 140 million in 2004 to 1.41 billion in 2019, astonishing statistics that imply that every single Chinese citizen may have visited a red tourism location in the year leading up to Covid-19. According to a recent survey by Alibaba’s Fliggy, “red tourism” bookings by people born in the 2000s boosted by 630 percent year over year. Meanwhile, a large number of young internet users are retweeting posts in honour of the revolutionary martyrs.

Red tourism refers to exploring ancient sites with a modern revolutionary bequest. This year it has become the top choice amongst Chinese tourists. The concept of “red tourism” has prevailed for decades. Nevertheless, until 2004 it was not included in the country’s national tourist strategy. The goal of red tourism is to cultivate knowledge about the Communist Party’s history, starting with its establishment.

Since Xi Jinping became China’s leader nearly a decade ago, the campaign to boost patriotic spirit, using party studies, has been a national topic. The initiative aims to “boost country solidarity” at a time when China is facing impediments such as the recent trade war with the US. However, Some critics contend that it gives a skewed interpretation of history, while others accuse it of blatant indoctrination. To facilitate red tourism, the government built 2,442 kilometres of roads to connect revolutionary landmarks between 2017 and 2020, with more than 90% of those routes in central and western China.

The soaring popularity of increasingly creative tourist products, many of which engage new technology such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, maybe partly the reason for the raised inducement of red tourism among young people. Visiting historical buildings and museums isn’t the only aspect of red tourism. Instead, it is tailored to the interests of young people, emphasizing an immersive experience or providing time travel situations to draw in more young visitors.

Robinson, who has penned articles for UNESCO on tourism and sustainability, sees a connection between Beijing’s sustainable development aims and the expansion of “red tourism,” which has tangible advantages for local people. Local economies have benefited from red tourism, which has helped to curtail poverty in certain places. And it will continue to do so, assisting in the rehabilitation of rural areas.

One such model is Guang’an. Deng’s previous residence was the first “red site” in Sichuan to receive a 5A rating, the highest possible in China’s travel industry. There have been numerous redesigns and overhauls since the mid-2000s. It’s now a 3.19-square-kilometre tourist complex featuring a historical centre, a lake, and a bronze sculpture in the centre plaza. Its appeal helped the local business prosper, becoming one of the first Sichuan county groupings to be rescued from extreme poverty in 2017. The other famous sites in China’s red tourism include Yan’an, Mao Zedong’s revolutionary base area, Zunyi in Guizhou Province and  Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province.

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