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).



About bambooinnovator
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (, a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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