BEIJING – The government of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region announced a package of measures to boost the sluggish tourism industry at a press conference in Xinjiang’s capital city of Urumqi on Saturday.

Xinjiang’s tourism industry is suffering serious losses due to the July 5 riot after which the tourist flow has been sharply decreasing.

The regional government has decided to allocate 5 million yuan (about 730,000 U.S. dollars) to subsidize the tourist agencies which arrange traveling groups to Xinjiang during July 6 to August 31, governemnt official said at the press conference.

According to the package, tourist agencies in Xinjiang and hotels in Urumqi would be exempted from income tax while the government will coordinate with commercial banks to provide short-term loans to the tourist agencies. In addition, favorable prices will be applied to hotels, scenic spots tickets and air tickets in order to attract more tourists.

Soundbite: Chi Chongqing, secretary of the Communist Party of China committee of Xinjiang’s Tourism Bureau “Xinjiang has thousand miles of desert where the silk road crosses and Tianshan Mountain towers. It accounts for about one sixth territory of our country with its special sceneries and cultural background attracting visitors home and abroad. Various ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been sharing weal and woe since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Xinjiang is bound for stability and development.”

Various cultural activities such as Turpan Grape Festival will also be held in the second half of the year, said officials from the tourism bureau of Xinjiang.