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‘Red tours’ attract younger Chinese

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More young Chinese go on "red tours" on short vacations, data from a Chinese travel company shows.

Red tourism refers to historic sites of China's revolution led by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

A report sent by Lvmama to Global Times on Thursday said that in the past six months, the average age of tourists who booked red tours was 33, with more than 37 percent of them below the age of 38.

Those choosing to visit "red sites" are "getting younger," the report said.

Zhang Yiming, a 30-year-old man living in Beijing, plans to visit red sites.

"These sites have a great natural environment, and I want to know more about China's revolutionary past. Regional culture is another important reason," Zhang told the Global Times.

Zunyi city in Southwest China's Guizhou Province, where the Zunyi Meeting took place in 1935, and Jinggangshan, once an important revolutionary base in East China's Jiangxi Province, are both on the list of Zhang's travel destinations.

In 2015, the number of red tourism sites in China reached 249, while the number of visits to those destinations reached 1.027 billion, generating revenue of over 261 billion yuan ($40 billion), according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy in 2017.

The Lvmama report also shows most people prefer to make 1-2 day trips for red tours, with each person spending an average of 848 yuan.

"Many primary and secondary schools arrange field trips on weekends and holidays. They usually choose to visit red sites," Zhang Shangzheng, dean of the Tourism Management Department at Anhui University, told the Global Times.

To make it more intriguing for young people, the site of the first national congress of the CPC in Shanghai added a room escape game, where tourists can experience historic events themselves, thepaper.cn reported.

While major red tour sites need innovative approaches to attract the young generation, some small sites are better protected as historical relics than being open to the public, Wang noted.

Travel agencies also combined red tour sites with "green travel," or ecological tourism, as well as "bronze travel," which refers to history and culture travel, to make red tourism sites more attractive," Zhang said.

Middle-aged people and senior citizens remain the primary group for red tours, comprising over 40 percent of the total, Lvmama's report showed.



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