China and Russia promote 'red tourism'

China and Russia promote 'red tourism'

China and Russia are to jointly promote "red tourism" after signing a memorandum of understanding.

"Red tourism between China and Russia has grown from people-to-people exchanges to a national level, which will further strengthen the all-round partnership between the countries," said Luo Dihui, who is in charge of the project for the China National Tourism Administration.

According to Luo, "red tourism" in China is booming. "Numbers have climbed from 140 million in 2004 to 907 million in 2014, a quarter of all domestic travelers," Luo said.

"China is the strategic co-operation partner of Russia's tourism industry, more than a million Chinese tourists have travelled to Russia two years in a row," said Oleg Safonov, director-general of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation.

Routes in China cover ancient capitals Xi'an and Luoyang; coastal cities such Dalian; water towns including Hangzhou and Shanghai; the hometown of Chairman Mao in Hunan and island cities such as Haikou on Hainan.

The routes cover more than a dozen cities, offering visitors recreation and a way to better understand China's contemporary history.

Hunan, has five provincial tour routes and an international one of its own. Tourists can visit the former residence of Mao, places where he grew up, together with important sites on the long march and in fighting during the Anti-Japanese War.

"The former residence of Chairman Mao receives over 10 million tourists every year," said Xu Yousheng, head of the propaganda department in Hunan. "It is hoped that we can strengthen co-operation on red tourism and build a long-term co-operation and communication mechanism."

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