Home-stays to exploit winter tourism boom in Chinese villages

Home-stay business in the Xinjiang Uygur of Northwest China is flourishing, as the winter tourism getting momentum.

Local authorities are striving to exploit the favourable atmosphere had has been offering than 130 tourism activities through March, and major scenic spots provide free or discounted skiing and dining tickets.

It is reported that almost 2.1 million tourists visited the area during the recent three-day New Year’s Day holiday, which is 40.58 per cent more than that of last year. Revenue for tourism during this period was USD 246 million, showing a year-on-year increase of 46.86 per cent.

“Tourists have increased a lot from the previous winter, and advance booking is required during the winter holidays,” says Tang Qi, an employee with the Xinjiang Trollflower Travel Agency, which runs a homestay.

In order to attract more tourist to the location, hotels and home-stays are making special offers and activities like ski, bonfire etc.

They also targets local tourists by providing special tours that run from Beitun to Kanas and from Altay to Burqin to Kanas.

Another home-stay provider from the eastern Shandong province, Chi Binchang, has also seen Xinjiang’s tourism potential boom.

“In 2003, I was only meant to travel to Hemu village in Altay, and I never expected the beautiful scenery here would appeal to me so much,” said Chi to the media.

Realizing the potential of winter tourism, more people are coming forward to start home-stays in the region.


Meanwhile, the local authority is also implementing policies to encourage villagers to open home-stays.

“As per the promotional policy of the, each household can receive 5,000 yuan (around USD 741) if they promote winter tourism activities” said Wang Chengming, the deputy director of the Kanas scenic spot management committee.

It is told that even local college students have been returning home and start up home-stay businesses, in order to avail the incentive. At the moment, more than 30 home-stays offer winter tourism services around the Kanas area, in addition to nine hotels, offering 3,500 beds.