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Northern Xinjiang launches helicopter tours to boost winter tourism

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-11-21 15:34
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The mirror-like, 188.5-m deep Kanas Lake which has its own Loch Ness-like legend, is one of the most popular scenic attractions in Xinjiang.[File Photo]

Altay prefecture in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Tuesday launched helicopter and light plane routes to offer tourists low-altitude views of the snowy region and revitalize winter tourism.

Choppers will be employed on three routes linking Altay city, Kanas Lake and the snow resort of Hemu, while Kodiak-100 plane will fly between Altay and Fuyun County, said an Altay-based aviation company that operates the routes.

Wei Hongbing, vice head of Altay prefecture's tourism bureau, hopes the launch of the "aero buses" will wake up local tourism from its yearly "hibernation".

A lack of transportation has long deterred tourists from visiting winter destinations in the prefecture, said Wei.

Altay prefecture is a major tourist destination in Xinjiang famous for its Kanas Lake.

The region has aspired to boost winter tourism in recent years, alluring visitors with skiing, ice fishing and other winter activities. It welcomed 2.26 million tourists last winter and expects over 3 million this winter.

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