Hometown looks to Mao to take the helm of tourism revival

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am

China is the world's last hope against a global slowdown, but the latest economic data all looks grim. The mainland economy may be about to tank. So, what do you do to help revive an economy sinking fast? Well, try Maoism, or at least Mao lookalikes, to revive tourism.

Each year, millions of fans visit Shaoshan , the hometown of Mao Zedong , in Hunan , as a tourist shrine to the late Great Helmsman. They have been a boon for the town and the province as well. But the numbers have been dwindling. In a bid to revive faltering tourism, local authorities have been putting out a nationwide call for actors and impersonators to compete as Mao lookalikes.

Well, if the bastions of western capitalism are nationalising their key industries left, right and centre, maybe it's time for the mainland to think about going back to the bosom of authentic Maoism.