Red tourism is a form of travel that takes you to sites that are connected with the nation's revolutionary past. It is very popular among Generation Z (people born in the late 90s or early 21st century).
Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial is located in Jiaxing in East China's Zhejiang Province. It houses the site of East China's First National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The Red Boat team is a group of experienced guides and docents who work in museums. It is one of the most popular features of the memorial.
Yuan Jing, a researcher at this memorial, stated that the Red Boat team was created to reach younger people by telling them revolutionary stories in an easy-to-understand way.
“We come to the place where young people gather,” Yuan said. The team so far has brought its elaborately designed courses about the CPC’s history to many colleges and universities.
“The Red Boat team staged a sitcom at our university. That was a very novel form and I felt like I was on the Red Boat that year,” said Zhang Mengnan, a graduate student of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University.
Many places have adopted this strategy of bringing the revolutionary past to locations other than the memorial. One of these is the memorial of the First National Congress of the CPC at Shanghai. This was the site where the founding fathers of the CPC secretly met.
Young Shanghainese consumers are now eager to visit the coffee shop that belonged to the memorial. It opened in September and sells coffee inspired by revolutionary stories.
“The idea of combining revolutionary past and fashion is fabulous. The coffee I ordered is priced at 19.21 yuan ($2.68). It implies that the public awakening and the founding of the CPC happened in 1921. The photos and revolutionary songs I encounter in the coffee shop instantly transport me back to those glorious revolutionary days,” said a local resident surnamed Liu.
Shen Wei, a memorial staff member, said that the memorial has attempted to load a container truck full of exhibits. The truck will be delivered to universities, where it will serve as a mini-memorial hall. It has an LED screen on the body and displays historical documents inside.
“The exhibition truck recently arrived at Sanming city of Fujian province, and then it will move to universities in Shanghai,” Shen said.
According to industry experts, Generation Z is the most important customer group for Red tourism. Products that offer immersive experiences and high-tech feel have been particularly popular.
Tuniu Corp, an online travel agency based in Nanjing, stated that among Red products, the three-day trip to the Jinggang Mountains, Jiangxi, which is known as one the cradles for the Chinese revolution, was well-received.
“During three days, I was deeply touched by the revolutionary spirit. I was dressed like a soldier, had a meal soldiers had, and walked on the road soldiers had traversed. I garnered a deeper understanding of the events that once happened on this land,” said a woman surnamed Wu, who did the tour in June.
Ctrip, an online ticketing company that is a major player in the industry, stated it gives special attention to Red tourism participation by young people.
The private route that Ctrip created around Shanghai's most important sites, including a visit to the First National Congress of the CPC, was greatly appreciated by young people during the Shanghai Tourism Festival, Sept 17-Oct 6.