The visits to military-themed tourist areas saw a 30% increase in July compared to the same period last year. Reservations doubled since last week and will peak during Army Day, the 91st anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), online travel agency Lvmama told Global Times.
Military-themed tourist attractions are most favored by families and children, accounting for more than 60% of visitors, an increase of 13 percentage points over last year. Most visitors are in their 20s and 30s, Lvmama said.
Tan Edong, a former marine and now a military-themed camps organizer, told Global Times that about 3,000 students join his camp every month for short-term training. The training programs are simulations of a real military camp. The price of these programs ranges from 1,800 yuan (USD 265) to nearly 10,000 yuan, Tan said.
Military-themed tourism has been widely supported by the government for the purpose of national defense and patriotism education. Over the years, red tourism, including military-themed tourism, has become a major part of the tourism market, said Li Mingde, former vice president of the Beijing Tourism Society.
China's Ministry of Finance spent 1.55 billion yuan (USD 228.3 million) to support red tourism in 2016.
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