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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lenin is able to attract Chinese money

Past promises of Soviet Russia proceeds from the largest economy of the world. The main symbol of Russia for the Chinese, is Lenin, and the so-called red tourism according to Lenin places in China enjoys increasing popularity. Russia could now earn hundreds of millions of dollars on Chinese tourism. What prevents this?

The Chinese Ambassador in Moscow Li Hui called for development in Russia of tourist routes to the places associated with the revolutionary struggle of the Soviet and Chinese Communists, to give impetus to the deepening of the humanitarian cooperation between the two countries.

“In China, there is a nostalgic attraction to the places associated primarily with Lenin. He is well known there is a character”

“This historical period is important for us now. As you know, we are now developing our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. It concerns education, culture and tourism development”, – RIA “news” words of a Chinese diplomat.

The Ambassador reminded that the authorities of Russia and China has previously stated the need to develop “red” tourism. And last year, representatives of Ulyanovsk, Perm region, St. Petersburg and the Far East have expressed interest in the development of this direction.

“Those places in which the Chinese revolutionaries at the time were, it’s a great place to visit, the inspection. I think that the development of red tourism is an integral part to strengthen our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. We will recommend more Chinese tourists to visit these places”, – the diplomat added.

The idea of creation in Russia of “red” tourism appeared three or four years ago. In 2013, even was developed a cultural and educational week-long tour “Red route” for Chinese tourists on the route Moscow – Ulyanovsk – Kazan – Saint Petersburg. In Moscow the Chinese offer to visit the resting place of Lenin in red square, examples of Soviet architecture, as well as the Moscow metro. In Ulyanovsk is a house-Museum of Lenin and the memorial center leader. In the interest of Kazan is the Kazan University, where the faculty studied Lenin, and also visit the Lenin Museum and folk life of the Soviet era. In St. Petersburg the Chinese are not interested in a Hermitage, and places – witness to three revolutions.

Last fall, the Federal tourism Agency organized an informational tour of the project for Chinese travel agencies. This year plans every week to take groups of Chinese tourists by 30-40 people, said the Director of “Agency for tourism of the Ulyanovsk region” Julia Skorokhodova. That is the year on this route can take 1.5–2 thousand Chinese tourists. Further plans to expand the program to include additional facilities and show events, telling about the key moments of Soviet history and the life of Vladimir Ulyanov-Lenin.

The plans for 2017, when Russia will mark the 100th anniversary of the revolution, direct flights between Ulyanovsk province and Central provinces of China. This was supported by the state administration on tourism of China. It is planned to scale to mark the 100th anniversary since the establishment of the Soviet Union in 2024. By 2022, the project “Red route” will allow Russia to attract more than 1 million Chinese tourists that will have a positive impact on the economic development of the regions of the Russian Federation, says Skorokhodova.

By the end of 2015 Russia was visited by more than 500 thousand Chinese tourists (just drove more than 1 million Chinese, if considered together with business trips). “The Chinese are ranked first among foreign tourists visiting Russia. We hope that in 2016 Russia will be visited by about 1 million Chinese tourists. It is, however, pre-crisis figure,” – says the newspaper VIEW chief of Department of Oriental studies of the HSE Alexey Maslov.

But it is necessary to offer new routes and tourist destinations. According to him, is still Chinese tourists go mainly to the far East, Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, sometimes reaching to Ekaterinburg. In this respect, the idea of development of “red” tourism is the best fit to the context.

“In China, there is a nostalgic attraction to the places associated primarily with Lenin. He is well known there is a character, and let the Chinese do not always know all the details about it, but the brand promoted Lenin there. In addition, in China there is a generation, which is good to the Leninist ideas of a positive development of society,” says sinologist Maslov.

Thus, according to him, Chinese tourists have little interest in places associated with natural beauty. “Chinese tourism is thematic tourism. The Chinese do not go to the sea for vacation, they do not swim, not sunbathe, don’t go camping. Inside China is now actively developing tourism in the “Soviet” places, significantly increased interest in visiting places associated with Mao Zedong. In China very popular cafes and restaurants, where you sit in the entourage of 50-60-ies of Mao Zedong and you are singing the same song. Tourism is a continuation of psychology reference to “red” the past. In China, for example, actively running tourism in North Korea, where the Chinese can see how thirty or forty years ago, they themselves lived or could live,” says Alexei Maslov.

According to him, for the Chinese, the main symbol of Russia is the image of Lenin, which can be compared with the symbol of the Eiffel tower in Paris to tourists from all over the world. “There is a stamped profile of Lenin, who was usually depicted on medallions and badges,” says Maslov. Historical fact: the first time the image of Lenin on the bills did not appear in the homeland of the leader, and abroad – in the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931.

“In China many people know Stalin and Khrushchev, but they are not such notable characters as Lenin. Most importantly, all that is connected with Lenin, not politicized”, – said the expert.

“To develop “red tourism not only in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Ulyanovsk, but also in Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg and Novorossiysk. They are well known to Chinese history books. The most interesting museums you can get in the Arkhangelsk region, on the landing of Americans, as well as great interest can be reconstructed to the philosophical ship in St. Petersburg”, – says Mikhail Krylov from the IR “Golden Hills – Kapital AM”.

“Given the average income of Chinese in 924 dollars a year, to teach all Chinese citizens to travel to Russia difficult. But the most wealthy probably appreciate the benefits of the new tourist route. Due to this possible extension of the tourist traffic from 1 to 3 million trips a year,” – says Krylov.

Chinese citizens will go to Russia not only to museums, but will probably combine the “red” routes with low-cost “IPhones” and “MacBook”. On this basis, the cost in one trip via the “red” route will reach $ 100 a day, and with an average trip duration of 10 days of “red” tourism will give up to $ 3 billion of GDP per year, plus the income from air transport, considered Mikhail Krylov.

Even with the current 500 thousand Chinese tourists (with a 10-day tour and costs $ 100 per day), Russia could earn tourism $ 500 million.

The problem is that the Chinese tourism in Russia today is completely controlled by the Chinese. “Chinese companies in China are gaining tourists, bring them to Russia for their vehicles, carry them here with their Chinese translators, etc. to the extent that the Chinese stop in several cities, in the same St. Petersburg, in Chinese hotels. This can be a formal hotel, and actually the apartment of hotel type. Beneficiaries of this tourism is mainly the Chinese side,” – says Maslov. Therefore, Russia faces the goal is not just to “surrender” their history in rent for Chinese tourist groups, and to act as the recipient of the profits from Chinese tourism.

“For us, the increase in the number of Chinese tourists to half a million have not yet turned into increased profits. Therefore, the creative idea of “red” tourism needs to be put in as economic benefits”, – said the source. According to his estimations, speech can go about hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year if the number of tourists from China will reach a million people.

To revenues from Chinese tourism is still given to Russia, it is necessary to introduce a rigid system of accreditation and licensing of tour operators and guides. To Chinese tourists in the Russian territory taken by the Russian tour operators.

“Here we must understand that as soon as Russia starts to introduce these measures, we are stepping on the throat of a number of Chinese companies. Just to throw them away would be wrong, because they, too, have awakened interest in Russia. I think the best solution would be to establish a joint Russian-Chinese tourism companies, who will need to obtain a license,” – says Maslov.

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