|April 9, 2019 -- Tourists are swarming to northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as flowers there are in full bloom.
"We received more than 10,000 tourists during the first day of the Tomb-sweeping Day holiday," said Wang Ziyang, whose tourism company runs tours to a scenic area featuring apricot flowers in Xinyuan County. "We added helicopter tours this year to allow tourists to view the flowers at different angles and upgraded the tourism facilities at the tourist attraction."
In the past few days, the area has welcomed more than 30,000 tourists, Wang said.
Ouyang Yiyu, a tourist from eastern China's Fujian Province, came all the way to Xinjiang to admire the apricot flowers.
"It's the blooming season, and my friends were amazed by the pictures I posted on social media," she said.
The flower tours also help locals cash in on family inn businesses.
Hizat, an official with Turgen Township, under the jurisdiction of Xinyuan, said that there are 28 rural family inns in the township, and one family inn can rake in more than 2,000 yuan (300 U.S. dollars) each day on average.
To cater to the tourism boom, Xinjiang launched special trains for the flower tours, taking visitors to the township.
This spring, Xinjiang authorities have launched 342 tourism activities to help power the local tourism economy.