China’s new way of attracting tourists: paying them!

Chinese tourism officials are reported to have given $80 to travelers to visit the Xinjiang province, the site of recent terrorist attacks by Uighur separatists.

China’s new way of attracting tourists: paying them!

Chinese tourism officials are reported to have given $80 to travelers to visit the Xinjiang province, the site of recent terrorist attacks by Uighur separatists.

According to reports on China Radio International (CRI), tourism in the northwestern province has dropped by 40 percent in the last 12 months as travelers’ fears escalate over safety concerns. “Many tourists went skiing and skating in Xinjiang during the winter, but since the deadly knife attack in Kunming in March, many have postponed their tour,” Inam Nesirdi, the region’s tourism chief, told CRI.

Speaking on behalf of Xinjiang tourism publicity and promotion, Fan Fenliang told CRI that the promotion, which lasted from January through April, was directed at tour groups in 19 other provinces. Individuals were given coupons totaling 20 million yuan for use while shopping, at hotels and local attractions.

A recent bomb blast at a busy market claimed the lives of 31 people and injured 90 others, according to media reports. Policies favoring Chinese over the native Uighurs is said to be reason for the recent bloodshed.

According to kmbz.com, whether traveling the region is safe for tourists is a point of difference, depending upon whom you ask. “In response to the tourism incentive, some Chinese bloggers expressed enthusiasm for seeing the more remote areas of Xinjiang. Others were still deterred, with one saying, ‘Sorry, I won’t visit a place with a hostile atmosphere.’”

Xinjiang is a region located on the westernmost edge of northern China. It is home to an ethnic Muslim minority called Uighurs. These Turkic-speaking people have been under China’s rule since 1949. The recent terror attacks are acts of protests against “the steady influx of ethnic Chinese into the region.”

CATEGORIES
Follow on Feedly