A self-driving tour from Changsha to Guidong county, Hunan province. (Photo/China Daily)
Changsha resident Liu Dan is one of 20 Chinese out of 2,600 applicants to win a free 12-day tour from China to Russia.
It will be the 40-year-old's first visit to the country.
She wants to visit locations with historical significance to the Chinese revolution.
"Those sites remind me of olden times," she says.
The tour is organized by China's national Red-tourism coordination office and the Hunan tourism bureau. It will set off from Hunan province's Shaoshan on June 29 and end in Russia's Ulyanovsk - the respective hometowns of Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin.
"We'll take self-driving tours across Hunan, Hubei, Henan and Hebei provinces to Beijing before flying to Moscow," says Chen Yong, executive president of the Hunan self-driving tour association.
Participants will continue to drive around Ulyanovsk after landing, Chen adds.
In addition to revolutionary sites, including Vladimir Lenin's former residence, the Chinese group will explore Russia's culture and natural landscapes in Moscow, Kazan and St. Petersburg.
The tour is part of a Red tourism exchange program between China and Russia.
It aims to commemorate victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World War II, Chen says.
The driving routes were selected to strengthen Sino-Russian friendship and cater to market needs, Hunan tourism bureau's deputy director Wang Chaoxiang says.
Changsha journalist Zhang Di, who was also selected for the trip, believes self-driving tours can interest people like her, who were born in the 1980s.
Red tours have traditionally been arranged by schools or companies and haven't been top choices among younger travelers, she says.
The China National Tourism Administration and the Russian tourism authority are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Red tourism for the 2015-2017 period.
Travel agencies on both sides will jointly develop routes.
Each side will develop five popular Red routes for each other, says China's Red-tourism coordination office's deputy director Luo Dihui.
Routes featuring high-speed railways will be launched in China.
Cities along the Beijing-Guangzhou and Shanghai-Kunming high-speed rail systems will cooperate to develop products.
About 900 million visits were made to China's revolutionary sites last year. The sector has undergone annual growth of more than 16 percent since 2004.
Hunan received 372 million Red tourists from 2004 to 2014, generating 168 billion yuan ($27.1 billion), says Wang from Hunan tourism bureau.
The Jinggangshan scenic spot in Jiangxi province, a famous site in China's revolution history, received 2.94 million inbound tourists alone last year, up 34.35 percent over the previous year. Tourism income increased 35 percent to $60.67 million.
There have been 4 billion Red-tourism visits in China made by domestic and inbound travelers over the past decade.
The international market has also rolled out Red tourism packages to woo Chinese tourists.
Russia will build leisure zones around Soviet-themed museum clusters and launch a tour route that covers Ulyanovsk, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Luo says.
Germany will develop trips that highlight places visited by China's first premier, Zhou Enlai.
China's tourism administration has made the promotion of China's Red tourism a priority, says the administration's international department's inspector Li Yaying.
China will arrange for its Red tourism departments and travel agencies to attend international exchanges, including expos, while inviting international travel wholesale agencies to explore revolutionary sites in the China.