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Snow draws millions to Xinjiang

By Cui Jia and Mao Weihua in Urumqi | China Daily | Updated: 2016-02-23 08:04

Snow draws millions to Xinjiang

Local Kazak herdsmen participate in a traditional hunting competition for rabbits or foxes on horseback with eagles that they have trained for years, in Yining, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Thursday.[Photo by Qin Jie/ for China Daily]

Improvements help people get to previously inaccessible areas during the colder months

A few years ago, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which draws hordes of tourists in summer and autumn, typically turned quiet when the long winter arrived.

Now more people are choosing to experience the region's grand natural scenery and diverse ethnic cultures during the coldest months of the year.

The region is expected to attract 24 million tourists between November and April, a 62 percent increase over the previous winter. About 900,000 tourists visited Xinjiang during the winter of 2006, according to Li Jidong, Party chief of the regional tourism bureau.

"For Xinjiang, heavy snowfall in winter is no longer a burden. It has been turned into a gold mine. We have combined winter sightseeing, winter sports and unique ethnic cultures to create multiple layers of experiences for tourists," Li said.

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