søndag 30. mai 2021

The rapid rise of 'red tourism' in China

Growing up in Guang'an, Zhang Yiwen always felt a closeness to late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who spent the first 15 years of his life in her home city in the country's western province of Sichuan. Zhang knows Deng's stories like the back of her hand and enjoys recounting them for visitors to the Communist revolutionary's former residence, where she's worked as a guide for the last 11 years. "Grandpa Deng has a great image in our heart," Zhang tells CNN, using the local nickname for the man who, as paramount leader from the late 1970s until his death in 1997, is credited with modernizing and opening up China.

Zhang's passion for all things Deng, combined with her storytelling skills, has helped her win competitions and national recognition. In late 2020, she was one of the two people from Sichuan chosen to join the nationwide "Five Good Guides" program, one of several initiatives from the Chinese government to improve and highlight the country's rapidly booming "red tourism" industry.