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TV series ‘To The Wonder’ boosts tourism in Xinjiang’s Altay

Picture shows natural landscape of Altay Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

Picture shows natural landscape of Altay Prefecture, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

The breathtaking landscapes of Altay in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as depicted in the popular mini TV series “To the Wonder,” have mesmerized audiences, drawing visitors to the city and significantly boosting tourism in Xinjiang.

Filmed in this pristine area, the drama showcased the stunning natural beauty and unique cultural charm of Altay, which sparked widespread online discussions about touring the city. 

Since the release of the series on May 5, the internet searches about Altay more than doubled, with searches for Altay homestays increasing by 200 percent over the previous week. The same cabins which featured in the drama have become too popular to book. Additionally, bookings for group tours across Xinjiang have increased by 247 percent compared to the previous week, according to Beijing Youth Daily on Wednesday.  

According to data from domestic travel platform Fliggy, since the screening of To The Wonder, searches about Altay tourism on the platform has surged by over 500 percent. Flight bookings to Altay have increased by over 50 percent compared to the previous week, while car rental bookings have nearly doubled. 

Fei Fei, a publicity official with the Altay bureau of culture, sports, radio, television and tourism, told the Global Times that the bureau has been committed to carrying out various promotional and publicity campaigns aimed at attracting more tourists to experience the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Altay. 

“The number of tourists to Altay has grown significantly since the airing of the TV series. Tourists from the Chinese mainland, in particular, showed great interest in the Altay scenery and folk culture,” said Fei. 

“We will continue to combine culture and tourism to further enhance the popularity and reputation of Altay. Various promotional activities will be carried out to attract more potential visitors,” Fei noted. 

Located in the northern part of Xinjiang, Altay is also one of the best destinations for tourists and photography enthusiasts to view the natural wonder of the aurora borealis.

The peak tourist season in the Altay region typically lasts from July to August. However, spurred by the impact of the TV drama, this year’s peak season in the area is expected to arrive earlier. Additionally, the most popular months for visiting Altay’s Kanas scenic area, which usually starts at the end of August and extends into September, is predicted to commence as early as June this year.

According to the bureau, during the May Day holidays, the city received a total of 106,900 tourists, marking a year-on-year increase of 45.04 percent. The city generated 86.16 million yuan ($11.9 million) in tourism revenue, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 43.19 percent. 

Lying between the southern foot of the Altai Mountains and the northern edge of the Junggar Basin, Altay boasts abundant natural tourism resources, including grasslands, snow-capped mountains, deserts, rivers, gorges, wetlands, and more. The area has always been recognized as a paradise for photographers, skiers, birdwatchers, and independent travelers.


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