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Urumqi heats up as a cool tourist destination

  Vendors sell melons at the Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, July 5, 2019.

  Urumqi, the capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has become increasingly popular for tourists who want to escape the summer heat.

  Traveling to Urumqi in the summer has emerged as a new choice for more and more people, said a report by the China Tourism Academy and the travel service provider Ctrip, as well as the booking information of major airlines.

  The tourism academy said summer travel destinations should meet at least two requirements. First, the temperature should be between 18 C and 28 C and, second, places should have complete tourism facilities and a low risk of disasters.

  Scenic spots in Urumqi match these characteristics, including the Tianshan Grand Canyon, the Silk Road Resort and the Baiyun International Ski Resort.

  According to statistics by Ctrip, most tourists choose to stay at Urumqi for four to six days, accounting for 45 percent, while 37 percent of tourists would stay there for less than three days.

  The demand for flights to Urumqi on Ctrip increased by more than 67 percent this summer, compared with the same period last year.

  "It feels cool when I arrive at Urumqi and I even need to put on a thin coat at the Tianshan Grand Canyon," said Wang Rong, a visitor from Xi'an in Shaanxi province who was quoted in media reports.

  According to Wang, the temperature in recent days in Xi'an exceeded 31 C. "I plan to stay in Urumqi for a little longer, to avoid the high temperature climate at home," Wang said.

  The development of new travel routes has also promoted tourism in Urumqi. The increase in civil aviation routes and the opening of railway lines offer visitors more transportation choices.

  As the first stop to Xinjiang, Urumqi connects all major domestic cities and major cities with scenic spots in the region.

  As of the end of May, about 20 international cities in 16 countries and regions, and 81 domestic cities have air links to Urumqi.

  The region's cities -- Urumqi, Changji, Turpan, Shihezi and Karamay -- have recently reached a consensus on the integrated development of culture and tourism.