Xinjiang to Further Develop Tourism

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has worked out a plan to promote colorful tourism activities in the next five years such as sightseeing visits to freshwater lakes, trekking along the ancient silk road and skiing on snowy mountains.

With its unique landscape, plenty of cultural relics and folk custom, Xinjiang will continue traditional tourism programs such as mountainous sightseeing, grassland tours and visits to ethnic cultural sites.

At the same time, domestic and overseas tourists to the region will have chances to enjoy diversified newly developed tourism programs such as shopping for crafts, mystic exploration, scientific surveys and recreation on the ice and snow.

In ancient times the Silk Road ran through Xinjiang, and numerous historical monuments along the Silk Road still can be seen today.

The landscape of Xinjiang varies greatly, ranging from spectacular snow-crowned mountains to the deep serene lakes and from the valuable historic relics to charming ethnic custom.

The region received a record 6.6 million Chinese and 200,000 tourists from other countries in the first three quarters of this year.

During that period, the region gained a tourist income of 5.2 billion yuan (US$626 million) domestically and US$74 million from overseas tourists.

To provide better service for domestic and overseas tourists, the region will make efforts to improve its tourism environment and initiate abundant infrastructure construction projects such as building hotels.

At present, Xinjiang has 160 star hotels offering good service and accommodations for both domestic and overseas tourists.

According to a local tourism official, the autonomous regional government will carry out favorable policies to attract more overseas investment in the development of tourism sites and infrastructure construction.

Meanwhile, Xinjiang will set up a number of government-operated large-scale corporations and holding companies in the sector.

Xinjiang now has opened dozens of domestic and international air routes linking Urumqi to major Chinese cities and many foreign cities.

In the next five years, the region will construct a group of new airports and open new interprovincial and international air routes.

The planned air routes will make it easier for more domestic and overseas tourists to come directly to Xinjiang, the official said.

The annual increase in the region's tourism industry will reach 12 percent in five years, and the annual increase in tourism income will be 15 percent.

(Xinhua 11/23/2000)

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