Xinjiang offers cash to revive slumping tourism industry
Updated: 2014-05-29 07:29
By Gao Bo in Urumqi (China Daily)
Tourists take photos at the entrance of the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi on Wednesday.[Photo by Li Xiongxin/China Daily]
The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region plans to offer a 500 yuan ($80) subsidy to each tourist coming to the region in a bid to revitalize a tourism industry recently wracked by terror attacks.
"The subsidies, which total 20 million yuan, have been given to tourists from 19 provinces and regions," said Inam Naiserdin, director of the Xinjiang Tourism Bureau.
Tourism to the region has suffered since a March 1 attack at a railway station in Kunming, Yunnan province, conducted according to local authorities by Xinjiang separatists, as well as a stabbing spree and explosion on April 30 at a railway station in the regional capital of Urumqi, Inam Naiserdin said.
"Last winter we welcomed many tourists who came to ski or skate," he said. "But since March, inbound tourists have dropped by about 40 percent compared with the same period last year."
The region saw an encouraging number of visitors in the first quarter of the year despite the traditionally down season for tourism, said Ma Rui, deputy director of the Xinjiang Tourism Bureau.
During the quarter, Xinjiang had roughly 6.83 million tourists, including 240,000 overseas visitors, representing a nearly 10-percent hike from the previous year, data from the bureau showed.
Since March, however, the industry has suffered.