Red tourism is one of the most important event, scientific and educational tourist destinations in China, closely connected with the history of the Chinese Communist Party and revolutionary history. The term «red tourism» started in China in 2004; 30 destinations and 100 tourist sites connected to the revolutionary places were created after the approval of the Red Tourism development program.
Sites on the Red Tourism tourist routes include historical museums connected to the revolution, places of military marches and battles, places where revolutionary leaders were born and lived, historical monuments where important historical meetings took place, memorial parks and other objects.
Learn the history of revolutionary Russia
The term «red tourism» came to Russia relatively recently: it is believed that Ulyanovsk region was the one that started the so-called «red routes» in 2013 when they introduced a tourist product aimed at the Chinese market that for the first time in Russia included a visit of the historical homeland of V. Lenin.
Russia has many unique sites related to Soviet history and the life of Soviet leaders that receive an enormous amount of interest from tourists. Trips along the red route are most popular among middle-aged and older people who grew up in an atmosphere of close friendship between China and the USSR. They were brought up on Soviet books, listened to Soviet music, studied Russian at school. For many of them, a trip through Lenin's places is not just a holiday, but also the embodiment of a cherished dream to get to know V. Lenin's homeland, to be immersed in the Soviet state history, so close to the Chinese people, and to learn more about the milestones of the Chinese and Soviet people revolutionary struggle.
The Lenin Way
In Russia, the term «red route» is more applicable to visiting Lenin's places connected to the key events of the life of the revolutionary leader. The classic red route includes Ulyanovsk — the birthplace of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin), Kazan — the city where Vladimir Lenin studied, St. Petersburg, where his revolutionary activity unfolded, and Moscow, where his life has ended.
Not only these cities, but other regions of Russia offer their carefully designed «red» routes. Samara, Sochi, Ekaterinburg, the cities of Transbaikalia and the Far East — each of them has historical sites, interesting from the red tourism development perspective, and each of these cities will allow tourists to get acquainted with the revolutionary history of Russia.
In addition to the classic format for traveling along the red route, there are also auto rallies from China (from Hunan Province, Shaoshan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong) to Ulyanovsk. In addition, friendly tree planting ceremonies are often held on museum complex territories as a sign of respect for Soviet history.
As part of the red route organization, meetings with the descendants of revolutionaries are also very popular, and they eagerly participate in such events.
Alexei Bonch-Bruevich, a descendant of the famous revolutionary figure of Vladimir Dmitrievich Bonch-Bruevich, said: «Red tourism isn't a new phenomenon, it's popularity isn't limited to China. People all over the world are more or less interested in the early 20th century history. I'm well acquainted with the «red tourists» from China, because not only I meet with them, but also accompany a group as an interpreter guide throughout their stay in St. Petersburg. I can say with all responsibility that these people are attentive, well-read, very disciplined and respectful of the host country's traditions».
According to the famous Chinese scientist and journalist Sima Nan, «Russian-Chinese relations are very long, and if we talk about red tourism, the ties are very strong. Chinese Marxism-Leninism, the building of socialism by the Chinese Communist Party, the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 — all these phenomena happened because of the Russian influence. Up to the point that Chairman Mao Zedong said that this is the main driving force: «One shot of the October Revolution brought China the idea of Marxism-Leninism.»
Hundred Years of Revolution
2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Great October Revolution and is an important milestone for the development of red tourism in Russia. A number of festive events dedicated to the anniversary are planned, and the number of tourists from China is expected to increase in the autumn period. In this regard, Russian experts have created special programs that include visiting memorable places of revolutionary events. Festive events are scheduled for October 25 (the anniversary of the old calendar) in St. Petersburg, a so-called mystery — music and light show devoted to revolutionary events will be held on the Palace Square on this day, and on November 7, when festive events will be held in Moscow.