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        Tourists flocking to Xinjiang for snow season

        By Zhang Xinran and Yan Dongjie in?Atlay, Xinjiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-01-04 17:03
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        This winter, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region's ice-and-snow-themed offerings are attracting a large number of tourists from all over the country.

        According to data from the regional cultural and tourism department, during the just-concluded New Year's holiday, Xinjiang's ski resorts received over 100,000 visitors, with the Koktokay International Ski Resort welcoming more than 7,600 visitors, an increase of over 300 percent compared to the previous year.

        Holiday data released by cultural and tourism departments in China's provincial-level regions show that Xinjiang's tourism industry is recovering faster than any other in the nation. During the three-day holiday, it received more than 1.66 million tourists, a year-on-year increase of 195 percent, and achieved tourism revenue of 1.76 billion yuan ($ 246 million), a year-on-year increase of 424 percent.

        According to statistics from the Xinjiang's Department of Culture and Tourism, as of December, there are a 188 ice and snow venues in the region — including 101 ski resorts, six of which have been rated as five-star accommodations such as the Koktokay International Ski Resort.

        "Koktokay should be the dream of every skier. It is the ceiling of domestic ski resorts," said Sun Muyao, a skier from Jilin province. "There are many ski slopes here, some of which are challenging, and beautiful scenery. Most importantly, the condition of the snow is excellent."

        Li Xiangbao, a staff member at the ski resort, said that Koktokay is located in the golden latitude for skiing, with the snow season lasting up to 240 days each year, starting from the National Day holiday in October and ending in early June.

        "When tourists come here to ski, it directly promotes the employment of local farmers and herdsmen. According to our statistics, more than 210 villagers around here are employed, and it has helped over 7,000 people to get jobs in places such as homestays and restaurants," he said.

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