Yinamu Naisierding, director of the Tourism Administration of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. [Photo: Li Xiaohua / China.org.cn]
Xinjiang is planning to receive over 50 million domestic and two million foreign tourists in 2015, the director of the region's Tourism Administration Yinamu Naisierding said in Kashgar on October 24th.
Tourism revenue should reach 70 billion yuan by the end of 2015, Yinamu Naisierding said, adding that the number of foreign tourists visiting the region each year has grown to over one million from just 88 in 1978. Xinjiang currently receives around 25 million domestic travelers each year.
Xinjiang has more than 10,000 tour guides, but the director admitted there are issues about the quality of service they provide. Special funds have been allocated to finance training for the guides next year. The director also said that high speed trains between Beijing and Urumqi will go into service in 2012, shortening the traveling time to 11 hours from the current 40 hours.
Xinjiang is making huge efforts to improve the level of service it offers and build up the region's tourism industry, Yinamu Naisierding said.
Xinjiang's attractions include China's hottest and the coldest places; its longest inland river, the Tarim; the lowest place in China - Aydingkol Lake (Moonlight Lake) in the Turpan Basin; one of the country's largest inland freshwater lake – the Bosten, and its largest desert – the Taklamakan. Taklamakan means in Uyghur 'enter and never return.'
Visitors can also visit the strange and beautiful Yadan landscape in Korla; mysterious deserts and spectacular sand dunes. The ancient Silk Road left Xinjiang with a cultural heritage that blends east and west, and includes spectacular historical and archaeological sites. Its ancient cities, caves, temples and tombs attract countless tourists from home and abroad.