Patriotic tourism thrives during the National Day holiday – China’s latest society and culture news
“Based on the facial expressions of the students in the photo, do you think they actually volunteered to take such a tour?”
“You guys are pathetic. If these revolutionary martyrs hadn’t sacrificed their lives for our country, you wouldn’t have written these cold-blooded comments. What’s wrong with educating our children about Chinese history?”
During the weeklong holiday for China’s October 1 National Day, about 710 million people are expected to travel. One type of trip that is growing in popularity is “red tourism,” sometimes called patriotic tourism, which has become the topic of heated discussion (in Chinese) online. “Red travel spots” (红色旅游地 hóngsè lǚyóu dì) are mostly locations that were significant during the long guerilla war and eventual victory that culminated in the Chinese Communist Party coming into power.
Thepaper.cn reports (in Chinese) that the Jinggang Mountains in Jiangxi Province, famous as the “cradle of the Chinese revolution” for being the birthplace of the Chinese Red Army, received 105,200 tourists on October 1 and 2, an increase of 6.44 percent from last year. In a bid to appeal to young visitors, the Jinggang Mountains tourism authorities developed a series of new attractions such as “revisiting the road where the Red Army marched,” “learning to weave straw sandals,” and “taking a quiz about the Party’s history.” Meanwhile in Fuzhou, the provincial capital of eastern Fujian Province, the article says a museum has mounted a virtual reality display, which allows visitors to participate in a critical battle of China’s civil war. “I was surrounded by gunfire!” a primary school student told the reporter after she received “an immersive experience of red culture. Now I better realize how heroic these soldiers are and I will cherish everything I own.”
Locals living adjacent to “red travel spots” have also benefited from the boom of patriotic tourism. A town mayor in Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province, said that by tapping into the town’s Party-related heritage, more than 500 jobs were created and the total tourism revenue of this year’s Golden Week holiday is very likely to reach 60 million yuan ($9 million). “By taking advantage of red resources, everyone in my town is living a better life,” the mayor said.
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