On a bus with tourists from Hubei province, a tourist guide introduced to them the Zhangjiajie-Sangzhi Expressway on June 5, which is referred to as “Red Artery” by the local people of Zhangjiajie.
The opening of Zhang-Sang expressway ends the history of no highways and railways in Sangzhi County. It is also a way to commemorate the great journey of the Communist Party of China in the past century.
Liujiaping Bai Township and Hongjiaguan Bai Township have witnessed the great changes along the Zhang-Sang expressway.
The bus drove out of the Sangzhi Toll Station, and arrived at Liujiaping Bai Township within 10 minutes.
Red flags and party flags flutter in the breeze by the spacious asphalt road, and the buildings of Bai nationality are neatly arranged. An endless stream of tourists who come to pay homage to the revolutionary martyrs can be seen in front of the Long March Memorial of the Second Front Red Army, and within the Long March Memorial Hall of the Second Front Red Army of the Chinese workers and peasants.
"I come to Sangzhi to see Marshal He Long." Huang Liming, a tourist from Hubei province, was excited when he learned that the next stop was the Bai nationality Township in Hongjiaguan, the hometown of He Long.
What links Liujiaping and Hongjiaguan is a "Liu-Hong" secondary road. To Huang's surprise, he arrived at the former residence of He Long within 10 minutes.
Crossing the He Long bridge on the Yuquan River, Huang Liming and his fellow tourists lined up to visit such scenic spots as the He Long Memorial Hall, He Long Former Residence, etc.
"Sangzhi's red scenic spots cannot be linked without major transportation network, and cannot be included in the tourist routes promoted by travel agencies," said Yu, the tour guide.
Liujiaping and Hongjiaguan are located in the East and West of Sangzhi County. Before the opening of the Zhang-Sang Expressway and the "Liu-Hong" secondary road, it took more than an hour to drive from the county to the two towns. Now, a 30 minutes’ drive circular transportation network has been formed in these three places.
Red scenic spots have become more popular since the development of the road network. "Liu-Hong"(Liujiazhen and Hongjiaguan), a key part of China's 30 excellent red tourism routes, as well as one of China's 100 classic red tourism attractions, was rated as the best red destination of China's national tourism in 2019, together with Jinggang Mountains, Jiangxi province and Zunyi, Guizhou province.
Gu Hetun, head of the Red Tourism Management Office of Sangzhi County, said that in response to the changes in the tourism market, "Liu-Hong" has worked together to seek differentiated development as early as in 2015.
"Hongjiaguan is mainly a cultural tourism town, while Liujiaping a long march town," said Gu Hetun. At present, Liujiaping and Hongjiaguan have successfully become the national youth patriotism education bases and the national 4A-level tourist attractions. In 2016, the two were also included in the western line tourism developed by Zhangjiajie, and formed an overall tourism development pattern with the scenic spots in the eastern line such as Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.
This year, Liujiaping Hunan Centennial Red Education Base is extremely popular, with several teams carrying out activities on the day the reporter visited it.
It is a red education base with a total area of 1,006 mu (about 166 acres) and a total investment of 380 million yuan, including several projects such as youth social practice, research and study tour, agricultural cultivation, cultural and creative center, party spirit education, etc. In the first quarter of this year, it received 36,000 visitors and achieved a tourism income of more than 3 million yuan. The education base, together with the Long March Memorial Garden and the Red Army Street, is one of the projects that Liu Jiaping has developed with Hongjiaguan.
Heading westward along the "Liu-Hong" road, the scenery is pleasant to the eyes. Under the scorching sun, there are still many tourists walking on the "long march" road .
In the Red Army Park, Shi Junfeng, who came from Yongding District with his family, tasted the authentic "Red Army Meal" –white rice porridge and old pumpkin. He hopes to let his young children feel the greatness of the Communist Party and cherish the present good life.
The core scenic spots of Sangzhi red tourism are improving day by day along with the integrated development of "Liu-Hong".
At present, 310 million yuan has been invested in the construction of Liujiaping and Hongjiaguan red scenic spots, and the He Long Memorial Hall, the Memorial Hall of the Long March Departure Site of the Red Second Front Army and the Tourist Service Center have been completed and put into use; Lihong, Liuhong, lijiu and Jiuku tourist secondary roads have been built and put into traffic. Guizhou-Zhangchang railway and Zhang-Sang expressway have been opened one after another. The construction of Sang Long expressway has begun, along with the construction of Rui Zhong tourist road connecting Wulingyuan core scenic area. Besides, Sangzhi Long March Red Education College Phase I project with an investment of 650 million yuan is expected to be put into use in September. Sangzhi Red Army Park, Liujiaping tourist service center and Centennial Yuying red education training base have all been built and put into use.
The growth rates are also promising: In the first quarter of this year, there are 1.63 million tourists and a total tourist income of 1.5 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 441% and 466% respectively, which ranked first in tourist numbers and tourism revenue in Zhangjiajie.
The explosive development of tourism in Liujiaping and Hongjiaguan benefits from their joint efforts to form a 10-minute "red tourism circle" between them and a 15-minute "tourist economic circle" connecting Jiutian Cave along western tourism line.