Ningxia accelerates long-term and sustainable development of tourism industry
2018 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Over the past six decades, Ningxia has become a leading player of the country in the new energy, agriculture, wine-making, and tourism industries.
Local government in Ningxia has tapped into the potential of the region's tourism industry by releasing regulations and plans that have helped to support its sustainable development.
This is one of the reasons why Ningxia has become one of China's most renowned holiday destinations.
The Sand Lake Scenic Resort, or Sha Hu in Chinese is located in Shizuishan in the northwest corner of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It is 56 kilometers away from Yinchuan, the capital of the province.
The Sand Lake Scenic Resort, or Sha Hu, in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region [File photo: VCG]
The Resort is famed for its spectacular natural surroundings. Tourists from home and abroad are drawn to the areas' breathtaking natural scenery, including a crescent-shaped lake, soft sand, aquatic reeds, lotus flowers, the flocks of migratory birds, and its magnificent mountains. Here are some tourists.
"This is my first time travelling to Ningxia and the first time I've seen desert. The scenery here is beautiful and splendid."
"The air here is very fresh. I can see plenty of trees and plants here. I came to Sand Lake several years ago. I remember there were more desert areas back then."
Since 1989, local government in Ningxia has put a lot of effort in developing tourist industry here. Tourists can now enjoy a wide range of leisure activities, like camel riding, four-wheel driving, sand sledding and fishing. They can also have the experience of living in a Mongolian Yurt, a traditional type of accommodation in the region.
Zhou Wenqiang is the chairman of the Ningxia Sand Lake Tourism Group. He explains his company's strategy.
"We are making good use of the natural scenery in Ningxia by introducing suitable and fun programs at the resort, as long as they are in line with our ecological beliefs. I believe that we will maintain our long-term and sustainable development."
During one of the traditional Muslim festivals- the Lesser Bairam holiday, many visitors choose to spend their vacation in Ningxia, which helps to stimulate tourism and economic growth in the region. A range of entertainment activities are available, including the Shapotou carnival, forest walks, the Binhe musical festival, and organic vegetable picking. Figures released by the local government show that the region received nearly 2 million visitors during the Lesser Bairam holiday in 2017, and that this brought in revenue of more than 800 million yuan.
We spoke with a couple of tourists about their visit during the festival.
"I have been to the Shapotou carnival several times, and I feel that some improvements have been made each year."
"It is beautiful here. I think the local government has done a good job, since this region has developed so fast. "
In 2017, Ningxia received over 31 million tourists, with the tourism sector bringing in nearly 28 billion yuan, accounting for over 8 percent of the region's GDP. The tourism industry has also created approximately 70,000 job opportunities in Ningxia.
Zhao Mingxia is the deputy director of the Tourism Development Commission of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
"The number of tourists in Ningxia, and tourism revenue, has soared in recent years. We have set a target that the income earned by the tourist industry will increase by at least ten percent each year. It is estimated that in 2018, we will receive over 4 million tourists, and revenue will reach 30 billion yuan."
It is hoped that the tourism sector will continue to be a sustainable driver of economic development in Ningxia, and that even more tourists will have the opportunities to enjoy the region's spectacular natural scenery.