Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Travel / News

Red tourism injects vitality into China's old revolutionary base

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-07-05 16:05
Share - WeChat
The site of the Zunyi Meeting is teeming with tourists this summer.[Photo/Xinhua]

China's leading liquor maker Kweichow Moutai, with more than 100 overseas distributors, has its roots in the city of Zunyi in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

The local red soil, rich in chili pepper cultivation, is also home to China's famous Lao Gan Ma chili sauce, an essential ingredient in Chinese kitchens and a cherished necessity for Chinese students studying abroad.

Zunyi also gained household recognition among Chinese people primarily due to a crucial meeting held in the city by the Red Army which has helped shape modern China.

In January 1935, an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was held in Zunyi during the Long March. The meeting focused on rectifying the left-leaning errors in military and organizational affairs and established the correct leadership of the new Central Committee, as represented by Mao Zedong.

The Zunyi Meeting is regarded as a crucial turning point of the Long March, leading to the ultimate success of the Chinese revolution. Since then, Zunyi has become a sacred place for generations of CPC members, and the footprints of the Red Army are forever imprinted on the city's culture and spirits.

Decades later, the site of the Zunyi Meeting is teeming with tourists this summer. Yang Hongru, a 72-year-old visitor from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, went all the way to Guizhou and Zunyi was her first stop in the province.

"Bearing the history in mind, I came to the site for a more profound understanding of China's past," Yang said.

To meet the growing demand among visitors, the memorial hall of the Zunyi Meeting announced that it would remain open at night for tourists starting from May 20 amid China's red tourism boom.

Last year alone, Zunyi received a total of 81.86 million visitors, raking in 85.7 billion yuan (about 12 billion U.S. dollars). Approximately 18 percent of the tourists were drawn to the red tourism sites among various attractions.

Every Saturday, the Red Army Street close to the site of the Zunyi Meeting resounds to the melodies sung by the local "red song" art ensemble. The ensemble comprises over 180 members, all of whom are retirees from the city, with the eldest aged 84 and the youngest aged 57.

With an average age of nearly 70 years old, the elderly members are quite familiar with the songs themed on China's revolutionary era.

"We didn't know each other until our shared passion for music and a collective desire to preserve and carry forward China's revolutionary spirit brought us together," said Chen Huiyan, 60, deputy head of the art ensemble.

Chen added that younger generations are also interested in their performances and would join their chorus from time to time.

Qi Mingchen, a fourth grader from Zunyi Cultural Elementary School, is among the city's energetic youngsters who voluntarily embrace the responsibility of carrying forward Zunyi's revolutionary glory and the Red Army spirit.

A year ago, Qi volunteered to become an exhibition guide at the memorial hall of the Zunyi Meeting. During holidays and spring and summer breaks, the little boy will come to the exhibition hall and tell stories of the Red Army's Long March to visitors.

Born in Zunyi, Qi loves the revolutionary stories of his hometown. So far, he has delivered nearly 20 presentations as the exhibition guide. "I can still feel the influence of the Red Army in our daily life," Qi said.

Zunyi's "red genes" have brought tangible benefits to the locals in modern days. Official data released in 2022 showed that Zunyi had seen its GDP exceed 400 billion yuan over the past decade, treble the 2012 level.

Rooted in its revolutionary past, the city is now embarking on a new chapter of development while retaining its historical significance.

Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349