Dressing up in Red Army uniforms - topped with caps bearing the communist hammer and sickle - and singing revolutionary songs, these patriotic tourists spend millions of yuan on the political pilgrimages, which are central to what is known in China as ‘Red Tourism’. The tours take visitors to historically significant sites for the CCP, battlefields, and residences of important former communist leaders. This year, with the Party marking its 100th anniversary, the stream of visitors is expected to reach its zenith.
One of the best-known destinations is Jinggangshan, a city in Jiangxi province that is famed as a center of ‘Red Culture’ for its many important revolutionary sites, including where Chairman Mao Zedong and other Communist Party leaders created the first rural base for the revolution in 1927.
After enjoying a meal in aptly-decorated revolutionary restaurants, the tour groups, mostly made up of elderly retirees, are brought to the city’s Revolution Museum and its dozens of shops selling a range of Communist souvenirs, from tiny pins bearing Mao’s portrait, to the huge statues of him that can cost up to 300,000 yuan (38,460 euros).