China's Xinjiang Likely to Attract 17% More Tourists in 2012


URUMQI - West China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region is expected to host 17.4 percent more tourists this year, local tourism authorities said Wednesday.

Xinjiang is estimated to attract 46.5 million domestic and overseas visitors in 2012, a number more than double its population of 22 million, the regional tourism bureau said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the region is expected to earn 51.4 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) in tourism revenues, it said.

Local authorities will increase spending to promote the development of rural tourism, as well as build star-rated tourism infrastructure, the statement said.

Regional authorities said in May 2011 that they are making efforts to turn tourism into a strategic industry and make Xinjiang into a key tourist destination in China.

Last year, Xinjiang received 39.6 million tourists, including 1.3 million foreign tourists, bringing in tourism-related revenues of 44.2 billion yuan. 

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