Business resumes, but industries count the cost

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am

Most businesses had returned to normal in Urumqi as of yesterday, though the region's officials said the tourism and airline industries had seen sharp declines in the past week due to the aftershock of ethnic clashes since last Sunday.

Urumqi's finance authority said 543 banks, co-operatives and financial institutes, or 92 per cent of the total number, had resumed business yesterday, and all had prepared enough cash in case customers wanted to withdraw large amounts of money.

Many shopping malls, supermarkets and small roadside stalls had also reopened and some busy areas had started to witness traffic jams, China Central Television reports said. But the signs of stability are expected to do little in helping Xinjiang autonomous region's tourism and airline industries, which have witnessed sharp declines since the riots.

Inamu Nisteen, head of Xinjiang's tourism department, said yesterday that 1,450 tour groups with 84,940 tourists, 4,396 from overseas, cancelled their plans to visit Xinjiang last week.

The region's airline industry also suffered. Guan Wuping, head of Xinjiang's civil aviation administration, said the number of travellers had dropped significantly.