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Across China: Millionaire in Xinjiang's snow village

  URUMQI, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Nurblat Jumabik, a 27-year-old villager in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has earned his first million yuan (about 147,700 U.S. dollars) thanks to the booming tourism in his hometown.

  Six years ago, Jumabik worked as a herdsman in the village of Hemu in Burqin County, barely making ends meet.

  "I farmed and herded for a living; working more than 10 hours every day," said Jumabik. "I always felt worn out when I got home."

  In 2013, Jumabik began to see more and more tourists in his hometown of Hemu, especially during the weekends and holidays. The small village has become a popular tourist destination for winter sports such as skiing and is recognized as "Xinjiang's Village of Snow."

  Jumabik, who has been seeking an opportunity to make a difference, jumped into the booming tourism market.

  He opened a guest farmhouse with only three rooms, learning to use social media to promote his guesthouse.

  The quick learner soon found that his three-room guesthouse could hardly meet growing demand. He then expanded his business, increasing the number of rooms to 16.

  Moreover, he provides sleigh ride to his guests, charging 75 yuan per person for a journey across the frozen wilderness of Hemu. The additional entertainment brings him up to 1,000 yuan a day during the busy season.

  Jumabik wouldn't stop yet. He plans to build a bigger house in the central location of the village to cater to more visitors.

  "I believe that businessman should never stop learning and go with the times because opportunity knocks but once," said Jumabik.

  Meanwhile, local villagers are encouraged by Jumabik to cash in on the booming tourism.

  With his savings, Jumabik has sponsored his two younger sisters to study in college. "Better education brings more opportunities," he said.

  Jumabik also plans to buy an apartment in the town of Burqin to provide a more comfortable and spacious living environment for his elderly father.

  "It's always a good thing to have hope and goals," he said.