The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is hoping to encourage more and more tourists in the next five years with plans to host a variety of activities. Sightseeing visits to freshwater lakes, trekking along the ancient Silk Road and skiing on snowy mountains will all be on the holiday agenda.
With its unique landscape and abundant cultural relics and folk customs, Xinjiang will continue traditional tourism programs such as sightseeing in the mountains, grassland tours and visits to ethnic cultural sites.
But tourists will now have the chance to enjoy new and diverse tourism programs including shopping for handicrafts, adventures, scientific field surveys and recreation on the ice and snow.
In ancient times the Silk Road ran through Xinjiang, and numerous historical monuments along the road can still be seen today. The landscape of Xinjiang varies greatly, ranging from spectacular snow-capped mountains and deep serene lakes to valuable historical relics and charming ethnic customs.
The region received a record 6.6 million Chinese and 200,000 foreign tourists in the first three quarters of this year.
During that period, the domestic tourists spent 5.2 billion yuan (US$626.5 million) and the foreign ones US$74 million.
To provide a better service for visitors, the region will make efforts to improve the tourism environment and will start several infrastructure construction projects such as building hotels to add to the 160 there already are.
According to one local tourism official, the autonomous regional government will try to attract more overseas investment for 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 already has dozens of domestic and international air routes linking Urumqi to major Chinese cities plus many foreign cities.
In the next five years, the region will construct some new airports and open new inter-provincial and international air routes.
(People’s Daily 11/29/2000)