CHINA / SOCIETY
'Red tourism' booms during National Day holidays amid new wave of patriotic sentiment among Chinese
Published: Oct 08, 2021 05:23 PM
Tourists take photos at the memorial of the fourth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in east China's Shanghai, Oct. 3, 2021. East China's Shanghai is home to many landmark sites which bear witness to the CPC history and the CPC revolutionary activities. As red tourism becomes increasingly popular, the city has launched a special hop-on hop-off bus service that provides more fun to travel between five notable red sites during the National Day holiday. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)

Tourists take photos at the memorial of the fourth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in east China's Shanghai, Oct. 3, 2021. East China's Shanghai is home to many landmark sites which bear witness to the CPC history and the CPC revolutionary activities. As "red tourism" becomes increasingly popular, the city has launched a special hop-on hop-off bus service that provides more fun to travel between five notable "red sites" during the National Day holiday. Photo: Xinhua



Echoing Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's heartfelt words as she stepped outside the plane from Canada back to China that, "If faith has a color, it must be China red," "red tourism" in China has welcomed yet another boom during this year's National Day holidays, amid a new wave of patriotic sentiment boosted by the centennial celebration of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC,) Meng's return to the motherland, and the release of epic war film The Battle at Lake Changjin.

Cities home to well-known tourist sites central to the history of CPC have seen families, friends, and tour groups from across the country visit in large numbers, intoxicated in the moving history of China's communist revolution. 

Throughout the National Day holidays from October 1-7, family tours to historic sites central to CPC history have increased by 30 percent compared with the same period last year, according to a report by China's largest online travel agency trip.com sent to the Global Times on Friday, with the top destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Yan'an, Changsha, and Nanjing. 

Shanghai, the birthplace of CPC home to over 600 related cultural sites and memorials including site of the first National Congress of the Party, rolled out special hop-on and hop-off bus services that offer more convenience to travel between five popular red sites during the National Day holidays, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

"In accordance with epidemic prevention rules, we have limited the daily overall tourist flow and people can only visit at a scheduled time slot after they book online. Notably, we are seeing full bookings every day," a staff member at the memorial hall of the first National Congress of the Party, surnamed Yang, told the Global Times on Friday.

The memorial hall welcomed around 50,000 visitors during the holidays, said a post on its official WeChat account, and most of which are teenagers. Parents who have taken their children to the site said that they want their kids to learn about the struggles and hardships of predecessors who devoted themselves to the country.

"Having seen The Battle at Lake Changjin and Eight Hundred, my heart and tears go to the heroes who fought under the most difficult circumstances and sacrificed their lives defending our homeland. So I came here to see the place they once fought their lives for, and feel the city's reborn, as well as the country's, from those unimaginable pains," a tourist from Beijing surnamed Lu who visited Shanghai told the Global Times on Friday.

In Hefei, East China's Anhui Province, the road sign on Yanqiao Road, which is named to commemorate young revolutionary martyrs Chen Yannian and Chen Qiaonian, sons of one of the chief founders of CPC Chen Duxiu, has once again been flooded by loads of flowers, national flags and greeting cards during the holidays. 

They are sent by people from across the country, mostly the young, to pay their tribute to the Chen brothers, who were killed by enemy forces at the age of 29 and 26 in the 1920s. Some cards read that "This flourishing age is as you wish," "To seek truth in troubled times, to seek light in the darkest hour," and others said that "At the end of the Yanqiao Road is Prosperity Road. We will be your eyes to see all the scenes of this age of prosperity."

Some "red tourist sites" have rolled out innovative, interactive activities for novelty-seekers which have proven more popular among young adults. Hidden Battlefront Hero Hall, an escape room venue, has become a hit since it was recently launched in Yan'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, a city considered the land of the Chinese Revolution and the heart of the country's red tourism. 

The venue, which it claims is China's first spy-themed live action role-playing experience based on red history, brings players back to the year 1947 in Yan'an and has them play as spies who must complete certain tasks to reach the city safely and then protect it.
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