Xinjiang tourism peaks all year round

Sayram Lake in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Hou Baocheng

Li Ya’nan, People’s Daily

With efforts being made in the tourism industry, China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is now turning the whole year into high seasons.

On Dec. 7, Xinjiang Grand Theater in Changji, a Hui autonomous prefecture in the middle north of Xinjiang was packed with audience as a Xinjiang-themed large-scale indoor live-action dance drama was staged there.

A tourist surnamed Zhang who visited Tianchi Lake (“Heavenly Lake”)in Mount Tianshan(“Heavenly Mountain”)a day before told People’s Daily that this show struck her with the beauty of Xinjiang.

A hundred kilometers away, tourists were having fun sliding on the snow at the Silk Road International Ski Resort in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang

A ski enthusiast named Xiong Kai from northwest China’s Qinghai province said it’s been the third consecutive year for him to travel in Xinjiang. “I come here to experience the most dangerous and challenging trail,” he said.

Xiong noted that his travel experience in Xinjiang was fantastic as he could enjoy the winter views of the Kanas Lake after feeling the thrill of skiing. “Xinjiang is an amazing place. The people are very nice, and so is the natural scenery.”

As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is approaching, Xinjiang, a region that enjoys rich resources of winter tourism, is taking the sector as an important way to transform and upgrade its tourism, so as to promote the comprehensive development of related industries.

At present, new winter tourism activities are being constantly launched there, such as horse racing on snow, tug-of-war on ice and winter-fishing, presenting another form of beauty of the region for tourists from home and abroad.

Urumqi has built world-class ski trails; Altay has developed a snow resort in Hemu village, Kanas; and the Tianchi Lake in Mount Tianshan has largely promoted its hot spring resorts.

During the 14th Xinjiang Winter Tourism Trade Fair held in Altay last month, 14 prefectures and cities in Xinjiang launched more than 400 cultural and tourist activities of local characteristics, displaying local culture and customs of Xinjiang and presenting road trip routes that offer in-depth experiences.

“Autumn is the best season to visit Urumqi. As the weather cools, the city is shrouded by colors and scent of ripe fruits. But now I feel the winter in Xinjiang is also marvelous.” That’s the comment from all visitors that have experienced the beauty of Xinjiang in winter.

In recent years, Xinjiang has taken great efforts to boost spring and winter tourism and improve both software and hardware for the sector, turning its rich winter tourism resources into new economic growth points and building itself into a favored tourist destination all year round.

To be specific, the region steadfastly improved its infrastructure and rolled out favorable policies. So far, 11 prefectures and cities have adopted a total of 41 incentives such as ticket discount for tourism attractions and flights, as well as subsidies for air charters.

Statistics indicated that before 2006, Xinjiang received only 900,000 tourists in winter each year, and the number jumped to 30 million by the end of 2018. In the first 10 months of 2019, Xinjiang received 202 million tourists from home and abroad, up 42.62 percent year on year.

“We were only busy in summer, but now the whole year is peak time,” said a herder in Altay who has doubled his income by horse rental in summer and selling customized fur snowboards in winter.

Meanwhile, an industrial park in Fuhai county, Altay has been built and put into operation. The industrial park, which specializes in manufacturing snowboards and ice skating boots, is the first maker of ice and snow sports equipment of the county, improving local employment and making wealth for more and more people.

Fishermen harvest fish from Bosten Lake in Bohu county, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct 12, 2019. Photo by Nian Lei

Eerqisi River in Altay, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Liu Shihe

Photo taken on Nov 27, 2019 shows people skiing with fur snowboards at Jiangjunshan ski resort in Altay, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The 14th Xinjiang Winter Tourism Trade Fair kicked off on that day. Photo by Zhang Xiuke