Searches for air tickets to Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on online travel app Qunar surged 300% on a daily basis as of 3 pm Wednesday, while bookings for flights to Xinjiang increased 27% as of the same time, Qunar told the Global Times Wednesday.
This followed the local regional culture and tourism authority’s announcement on Wednesday that all outdoor scenic spots in Xinjiang have reopened to the public and inter-provincial tourist businesses resumed starting from the same day, as the region brought the latest COVID-19 outbreak under control.
The travel platform said that travelers from Beijing, Xi’an in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province and Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province are the most active.
Bookings for flights from Beijing to Urumqi, Xinjiang soared 120% and those from Xi’an to Urumqi were up 77%, according to Qunar.
Apart from large airports such as Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, searches for other Xinjiang airports on Qunar also posted fast gains. It said that searches for Altay Airport increased 80%, while those for Karamay Airport rose 60%.
As Xinjiang made phased achievements on COVID-19 prevention and announced that daily activities could go back to normal, starting from Wednesday, all outdoor scenic spots are open to tourists, the regional culture and tourism department announced on Wednesday, ts.cn reported.
Data from another online travel service app Mafengwo showed that searches for Xinjiang-related tourism products surged 71% on a daily basis on Wednesday.
Xinjiang local authorities held a video conference Tuesday night to announce the region’s return to normal life and production activities, according to media reports.
Summer and autumn are the busiest tourism seasons in Xinjiang, with thousands of tourists coming to visit from across China. In 2019, the region saw more than 200 million trips made, generating over RMB 340 billion (USD 49.8 billion) in income.