URUMQI - Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region received around 2.1 million tourists during the three-day New Year's Day holiday which started on Dec 30, 2018, a year-on-year increase of 40.58 percent, the regional department of culture and tourism said Wednesday.
The rising tourists have brought nearly 1.69 billion yuan (246.6 million U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue to the region, a yearly increase of 46.86 percent.
To attract tourists, the region will launch 196 winter tourism activities from November 2018 to March 2019.
In the Bortala Mongolian autonomous prefecture, folk activities such as horse racing, wrestling and archery at the winter Naadam festival have gained popularity.
In Narat in Kazak autonomous prefecture of Ili, tourists attended a New Year's eve concert.
In the otherworldly scenic spot of Kanas, about 1,000 tourists from around the country poured snow on each other to ring in the New Year.
The scene was part of the 11th ice and snow tourism festival in Kanas during the New Year holiday.
Authorities in the locality incorporated winter entertainment facilities and local ethnic traditions to attract visitors. Activities included skiing, archery, wrestling and motor-cycling in the snow. Tourists saw beautiful snow frost, as locals in ethnic clothes performed.
"The village presents itself as a place of fairytale," said Ye Bin, a tourist from Urumqi, the regional capital. "I felt like I was in a snowy wonderland."
In recent years, winter entertainment in the autonomous region has greatly improved, and local authorities are cashing in on winter tourism.
Li Bing, an official of Altay prefecture, which administers Kanas, said that they planned to introduce more leisure activities to lure tourists to Altay.
"We will turn the 'cold' resources into a 'hot' economy," Li said.