URUMQI, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Tourism in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region hit a record high in the first half of 2016, the regional tourism bureau said Tuesday.
In the first six months, more than 26 million domestic tourists visited Xinjiang, up 15.5 percent year on year, said Li Jidong, Communist Party secretary of the regional tourism bureau.
Tourist spending reached 34.5 billion yuan (about 5.2 billion U.S. dollars), up 16.8 percent from the same period last year. The region has attracted almost 730,000 foreign tourists, up 9 percent. Foreign tourists spent 216 million U.S. dollars there, up 17.4 percent, Li said.
The rise was mainly attributed to the National Winter Games in January.
Nineteen provinces and cities which support Xinjiang's social and economic development have organized tour groups to the region.
Xinjiang has also improved tourism infrastructure, Li said.