100 ‘red tourism’ routes rolled out for coming holiday, little impact expected from Guangzhou flare-ups, says expert
Published: Jun 01, 2021 06:48 PM
Tourists crowd a red tourism attraction in Shanghang County, Southeast China's Fujian Province, on February 10. Photo: VCG

Tourists crowd a red tourism attraction in Shanghang County, Southeast China's Fujian Province, on February 10. Photo: VCG

As the traditional Dragon Boat Festival holidays approach, China's tourism ministry has suggested 100 "red tourism routes" to cater to more domestic visitors as China ramps up the celebration campaign for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Experts say the sporadic COVID-19 cases in small areas of China will not have much of an impact on the next red tourism wave during the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holidays (also called the Duanwu Festival), which falls on June 12, after the country saw a tourism boom during both the traditional Qingming Festival and  the May Day holiday.

On May 31, a month before the anniversary on July 1, 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.

The routes advise tourists explore not only the historical revolutionary legacies in tourism sites such as Jinggangshan, East China's Jiangxi Province and Yan'an, Northwest China's Shannxi Province, but also the development of Chinese technology in places including Southwest China's Guizhou Province  where China's Tianyan, or Sky Eye, is located, and the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games base in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province.

The Global Times learned from several travel booking apps that entrance tickets for revolutionary sites mentioned above are seeing strong demand, while all entries for the Yan'an Revolutionary Memorial Hall have been booked out on June 10, 12, and 13, days before the Dragon Boat Festival  begin. Over 5,000 tickets for Jinggangshan, a former CPC revolutionary base, have been sold just from the online travel booking platform Ctrip as of press time. And the direct train tickets from Beijing to Yan'an are also sold out.

"There might be concerns about the flare-ups of the COVID-19 local cases among people in the country  who won't choose to travel far. And people might have less enthusiasm for tourism as they had during the May Day holiday. But I still believe that red tourism during the Dragon Boat Festvial will be popular among domestic tourists," Zhang Lingyun, a professor of tourism development at Beijing International Studies University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In addition to the 100 red tourism routes, both the Chinese government and the private sector had previously introduced red tourism routes. Media reports said that China's railway departments introduced "red lines" for passengers during the May Day holiday to learn about the country's revolutionary history and enjoy nature. Red tourism air routes have also been launched during the holiday by China Eastern Airlines, Chengdu Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and China Southern Airlines to cater to surging demand.

Red tourism in China has become popular during holidays in 2021. The Ctrip data in May showed that the ticket orders for red tourism sites have seen an increase of about 375 percent compared to that of 2019. And statistics from Tongcheng Travel also showed that ticket orders for former residences of renowned political figures at red tourism sites increased eight-fold during the May Day holidayin 2021 compared to that of 2019.

Zhang said that both the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the CPC and the interruption of international travel due to the pandemic have boosted red tourism across the country.