Some 705 unmanned aerial vehicles form a pattern that includes fluttering red ribbons, the Party emblem and "1921-2021" on the evening of April 27, 2021 during a high-altitude light show over Baota Mountain in Yan'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, to celebrate International Labor Day and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]
Younger generations lead surge to visit historical Party sites, travel agents say
The popularity of Red tourism soared during the recently completed Dragon Boat Festival holiday, as trips to attractions highlighting the history of the Communist Party of China saw a surge in visitors.
Industry insiders and travel agencies said people's interest in visiting Red tourism attractions is continuing to rise as the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1 draws nearer.
Figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism released on Monday show that about 89.1 million trips were made over the three-day break from Saturday to Monday, up 94.1 percent year-on-year. Ticket sales for Red tourism attractions rose by 60 percent year-on-year.
Tongcheng-eLong, an online travel agency, said in a news release that trips to Red tourism attractions booked through its platform rose by 200 percent compared with last year, making Red tourism products their most popular.
Lvmama, another online travel agency, said that young people born after 1995 had become big fans of Red tourism sites. Online bookings by young people to visit these attractions increased by 400 percent year-on-year.
Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, the memorial hall where the Zunyi Conference was held in Guizhou province and the Luding Bridge in Sichuan province, which saw a small Red Army force brave gunfire to cross the bridge and attack enemy positions on the other side, are among the most popular Red tourism attractions for visitors, Lvmama said.
Zhang Liyan, a 23-year-old from Shanghai, visited Nanhu Lake with three friends over the holiday, after watching a popular CPC-themed TV series Juexing Niandai (The Awakening Age), which tells the story of how the Party was founded and the struggles of its early members.
"We are very impressed by the young people in the TV series and the hardships they endured to found the Party," Zhang said. "For us, it was an inspirational trip."
In addition to historical sites, scenic spots with breathtaking natural scenery and cooler temperatures in northwest provinces and regions, such as Gansu and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, were also favored by travelers over the break.
Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture and Altay in Xinjiang were popular destinations as they entered their blossom seasons, according to a report by Qunar, an online travel agency. Bookings to these two places were 2.5 times higher than in 2019.
Curiosity about the wandering elephants in Yunnan also attracted travelers to the province. Qunar said that tours to the province's Xishuangbanna, where the elephants' traditional habitat is located, doubled over the holiday.
Xie Xiaoqing, a researcher at the Trip Group's research center, said many travelers had demanded tailored and high-quality tours over the holiday. Young people have become the main consumers of tourism products and will reinvigorate the industry, Xie said.
The domestic tourism industry has shown continuing recovery after being hit by the novel coronavirus epidemic last year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Over the three-day holiday, revenue of 29.4 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) was generated, an increase of 139.7 percent on the same period last year.