Published on : Wednesday, July 12, 2017
According to Shu, a tour guide, “Most of my tourists are senior citizens who experienced the ‘honeymoon phase’ between China and the Soviet Union.”
Red tours－those taking visitors to the sites of early communist activities are booming in China and Russia, as the two governments have signed agreements to boost such activities in recent years.
In 2015, 22 tourism agencies from China and Russia agreed to conduct red tours during a tourism exchange program held in Shaoshan, birthplace of Mao Zedong. More and more such tours are happening, as direct flight routes continue to open and disposable income increases. In 2015, for example, 4,497 people from Hunan visited Russia on red tours. In 2016, the number rose 72.27 percent year-on-year to 7,747.
To cater to increasing demand, Russia’s tourism authorities have launched a series of “red-themed” tourism products specially designed for Chinese tourists.
Meanwhile, China’s red tourism sites, where its early communist activities began, are drawing a large number of Russian tourists, particularly Hunan, hometown of Chinese revolutionary figures like Mao, Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969), and Peng Dehuai (1898-1974), which currently has 140 red tourist sites. Shaoshan, Mao’s birthplace, is particularly popular with foreign tourists.
At the tourist sites, visitors can view historic posters of the revolutionary heroes, read stories of their early life and communist activities in their former residences, try on the uniforms of red soldiers, as well as enjoy local foods and watch performances depicting the heroes’ fighting spirits.