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Xinjiang tourism boom revitalizes faded splendor of ancient Silk Road

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Xinjiang tourism boom is revitalizingthe faded splendor of the ancient Silk Road, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region tourism official Chi Chongqing said Saturday.

Xinjiang received 275,400 overseas tourists and earned 99.4 million US dollars in 2002, a sharp contrast to 88 tourists and 46,000 US dollars in 1978.

Occupying one sixth of China's land area, Xinjiang used to be an important connection between the east and the west, as well as the communications hub of the Silk Road trade route linking China to Europe. But after Tang dynasty, as China moved its economic center to the southeast area, the region became remote.

Chi said, Xinjiang is among the nation's richest tourism resource areas. As tourism became popular in China, Xinjiang also demonstrated its unique scene to the world.

The growth of Xinjiang tourism revenue surpassed that of GDP and local fiscal income. Tourism also created job opportunities for minority groups, with total employees reaching 100,000.

Chi said, Xinjiang hoped to become the connection center for Chinese travelers who visit neighboring middle Asian nations and ahub for Chinese flights to Europe, east and southeast Asian flights westwards, and middle Asian flights eastwards.

Xinjiang hoped to build a Silk Road route in the air, he added.


Source: People's Daily