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A glimpse into thriving ice and snow industry in Xinjiang

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-30 14:41
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With winter sports gaining momentum across China, Xinjiang is leveraging its prolonged snow seasons, high-quality snow and diverse terrains to establish top-notch skiing resorts.[Photo/Xinhua]

"After numerous visits, I want to delve deeper into understanding the local ethnic customs and culture," she added.

To cater to the increasingly diverse tourist demands, Xinjiang is pioneering new ice and snow consumption trends by integrating with cultural and folk elements to stimulate the development of various industries.

In the Narati scenic area in Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, traditional ethnic activities such as snow horse racing take center stage. The area also offers tourism experiences like visits to the herders' yurts.

At an intangible cultural heritage exhibition base in Altay, several craftsmen are busy making horsehide snowboards. "We've also designed mini snowboards as tourist souvenirs, which are highly popular among visitors and bring in an annual sales revenue of 60,000 yuan," said Huaneshbek Silanbek, an inheritor of horsehide snowboard crafting skills.

The expansion of the ice and snow industry has also translated into substantial incomes for farmers and herders. Tarat village in the county of Fuyun, once dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry, experienced a transformation with the opening of the Koktokay international ski resort in 2020.

Hayratbek Musay is in charge of snowmaking in the ski resort, and together with his wife, who is also employed here, they earn a monthly income exceeding 10,000 yuan. Likewise, the guesthouse run by Kulparan Habelhazi's family generates an annual net income of about 100,000 yuan. Their financial situations have significantly improved compared to their previous livelihoods as farmers.

New growth opportunities have emerged in Xinjiang's ice and snow sports equipment manufacturing industry. Liao Yuan is the manager of an Urumqi-based ski equipment company that specializes in the production of skiing cable cars, magic carpets, snowmaking equipment, snowboards, and more.

"Our skiing equipment sales have been increasing every year, and we are currently preparing to export our magic carpets overseas," Liao said.

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