Shanxi plans big growth from ‘red tourism’

Shanxi plans big growth from ‘red tourism’



“Red tourism” is gaining popularity in China as the government pumps money into developing sites related to the Chinese revolution.

Northern China’s Shanxi province in particular is trying to accentuate the historical credentials of its revolution-era bases so it can attract tourists and enjoy faster growth.

Wuxiang county in Shanxi hosted the headquarters of China’s Eighth Route Army and accommodated many of the country’s older generation of revolutionaries, such as Zhu De, Peng Dehuai and Deng Xiaoping.

The Eighth Route Army was an armed force led by the Communist Party of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937-1945.

Since 2008, the Wuxiang government has set up a themed cultural park, put on stage shows telling war stories and come up with travel itineraries that let tourists experience life as a guerrilla.

In 2013, two million visitors flocked there, attracted by the “red tourism” program, which has generated more than 2 billion yuan (US$300 million), according to the county government.

“At present, there are unprecedented opportunities for red tourism in China,” said Wang Shumao, a member of the country’s coordinating group for this sub-sector of tourism.

“We have included this into our national development plan, and will introduce policies to support it,” he said.

In 2013, the central government allocated 487 million yuan (US$78 million) to back red tourism. The civil affairs department also invested 2.8 billion yuan (US$450 million) on constructing memorial sites.

China’s transport departments have dedicated 1.5 billion yuan (US$241 million) to improving road links to revolutionary sites.

There reflects a larger public appetite for commemorating revolutionaries, according to Wang, who said that during the three days of this year’s Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday, over 30 million people paid their respects at red tourism attractions.

“We should also make use of the educational function of red tourism,” said Dong Jiangai, a professor at the School of Political Science and Public Management at Shanxi University.

“It could help reduce corruption when we appreciate the efforts of these soldiers, and learn from them,” he said.

It is estimated that, by 2015, red tourism sites around China will welcome 800 million tourists per year and earn a revenue of 200 billion yuan (US$32 billion).


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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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