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|Thursday, December 28, 2000, updated at 17:03(GMT+8)|
Xinjiang, A Booming Tourism DestinationChina's westernmost region of Xinjiang has become a booming tourism destination.
Statistics show that more than 200,000 overseas visitors came to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2000, bringing the region an income of nearly US$80 million.
Business people from the Commonwealth of Independent States bought millions of US dollars worth of Chinese goods in Xinjiang the same year.
A random survey shows that some 7 million domestic travelers visited Xinjiang, the largest provincial-level region of China in 2000.
Director Naiyimu Yasheng of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Tourism Administration, predicted that the region will become the most promising tourism destination in China in the next five years.
Geologists with the Chinese Academy of Sciences listed a series of advantages Xinjiang has for developing the tourism industry.
The advantages include 14 scenic spots in the region's counties and cities, and the region has tourism resources which are regarded as fancy, mysterious, rugged and primal.
Xinjiang, located in the middle section of the Silk Road, was once the center for cultural exchanges between the east and the west. Full-bodied folk art and custom, and special ethnic culture all constitute the major attractions to visitors at home and abroad, said experts.
Great importance will be attached to the development of the local tourism industry in the next five years, sources said.
Wang Lequan, secretary of Xinjiang Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, disclosed that the region will grant preferential treatment to those foreigners who invest in Xinjiang's tourism industry.
To date, Xinjiang has opened several dozen air routes which links the region with major cities in China. The new Eurasian Continental Bridge, which cuts through the region, and many local high-grade highways and railways all provide convenience for visitors.
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