County in NW China's Xinjiang thrives on burgeoning winter tourism industry

(People's Daily Online) 14:30, June 20, 2022

By tapping into the potential offered by its ice and snow resources, Fuyun county in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has developed a thriving winter tourism industry, bringing wealth to local people.

Aerial photo taken on Dec. 29, 2020 shows the winter scenery of Koktokay scenic area in Fuyun county, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Sadaf)

Known for a long snow season that can last up to seven months every year, the county invested over 1 billion yuan (about $148.9 million) into tourism infrastructure projects during the period from 2016 to 2020. During the three-day Dragon Boat Festival, which ended on June 6 this year, the county received a total of 133,100 tourists, among which 45,100 visited the Koktokay scenic area.

Unathan Azat, a local resident, started a home-stay business in Koktokay town about the same time when the airport for Fuyun county went into operation. He explained that in the early days, tourists usually came during the summer and autumn seasons in order to appreciate the stunning natural scenery in addition to the Koktokay No. 3 Pit, the largest mine in the world featuring a spiral of mountain paths along its side walls.

Tourism has thrived since the establishment of scenic spots such as international skiing resorts and a birch park. “My hotel has been fully booked for six months,” Azat said.

Another home-stay owner, Zibyra Hapsamet, who also sells local specialties such as dairy products and beef jerky in his hotel, said “my family used to rely heavily on traditional farming. But now, we receive tourists throughout the year and earn 80,000 yuan per month.”

“Thanks to winter tourism, a growing number of local residents are engaged in relevant industries such as catering and home-stay businesses, now earning a better income,” said Zhou Houwei, an official in charge of publicity for Koktokay town.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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