Southern Xinjiang boosts winter tourism

The opening ceremony of the Second Ice and Snow Culture Tourism Festival of Baicheng, Aksu. (Photo by Shan Jie from Global Times)

By Shan Jie

Four regions in the southern part of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have initiated joint project to promote tourism in winter.

The first winter culture and tourism festival of four southern Xinjiang regions – Aksu, Kashgar, Hotan and the Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture of Kizilsu – opened on Tuesday, December 10, in Baicheng County, Aksu.

The four regions are aided by provincial regions of the Yangtze River Delta, including Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The festival is to echo Xinjiang’s strategy to boost winter tourism. It aims to develop ice and snow tourism resources in southern Xinjiang at the same pace as northern Xinjiang and to attract more tourists, according to a statement the Aksu publicity department sent to the Global Times.

Tours featuring self-driving, caravans and special trains will be promoted in northern Xinjiang to develop the winter tourism market.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Second Ice and Snow Culture Tourism Festival of Baicheng, Aksu was also launched at the Baicheng hot springs skiing venue.

The skiing venue opened on December 1, welcoming hundreds of visitors to enjoy snow activities such as skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, as well as dancing and singing.

A total of 12.9 million yuan ($1.8 million) was invested in the venue, which is the largest in southern Xinjiang, Hu Chao, general manager of the Silu Qingyuan tourism development company, which made the investment, told the Global Times.

Professional skiing tracks are expected to be built in 2020 with a further investment of 50 million yuan, Hu said.

Tourism has helped local residents shake off poverty, Keranmu Mehmet, secretary of the Communist Party Committee at Tiereke village, 1 kilometer from the skiing venue, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Now 19 Tiereke villagers are employed at the skiing venue, bringing each of them a monthly salary of between 2,400 and 4,000 yuan.

Source:Global Times

Visitors enjoy sledding on Tuesday at the Baicheng hot spring skiing venue in Baicheng County, Aksu in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Photo by Shan Jie from Global Times)