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Tajik ethnic people ready to hit new heights

China Daily| Updated: July 20, 2020


Tajik dancers perform at a folk festival in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on June 25, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Aiming high

Warxidi village is close to several popular tourist spots in Tashikurgan. Maynurgul Ikmu, 30, was not aware she could benefit financially from visitors coming to her area until 2015, when a tourist service center was established 1 km from her home.

Tashikurgan has seen a growing number of visitors drawn by the county's snow-capped mountains, verdant grassland and Tajik customs such as the eagle dance and polo.

Many travelers have visited Maynurgul's house to taste both traditional milk tea and Tajik culture.

In 2016, Maynurgul built an inn to house tourists with the encouragement and support of the local government. She has learned to cook new dishes to cater to visitors' diverse tastes, and performs the traditional Tajik eagle dance for tourists and sells handmade Tajik souvenirs.

Her family earned more than 150,000 yuan ($21,190) last year, and bought a car in January. "It's the best thing that's happened to me in recent years," Maynurgul said.

More than 1.1 million trips were made to Tashikurgan last year, bringing in more than 1 billion yuan in tourism revenue. The county made it onto the top national tourist destination list late last year.

The county mayor, Guluzar Aburahman, said plant cultivation, herding, tourism and border trade were the pillars for Tashikurgan to achieve sustainable growth, with tourism the major focus.

In April, construction began on Tashikurgan Airport, expected to be the highest-altitude airport in Xinjiang. It is expected to improve transportation and boost the county's tourism market. The airport is scheduled to be completed before June 2022.

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