Recent civil unrest and outbreaks of violence have triggered a drop in the numbers of tourists visiting the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, AP reported, citing state media. Tourist numbers have declined from thousands to hundreds per day while hotels report filling barely 10% of their rooms. The region earned US$2 billion from 17 million foreign and domestic tourists in 2006, the last year for which numbers are available. The regional government has allotted US$700,000 to subsidize travel agencies bringing tour groups to Xinjiang and has planned a series of promotional events to attract visitors. Riots in July between Uighurs and Han Chinese left 197 dead and, more recently, a series of attacks with hypodermic needles had authorities scrambling to restore order. Urumqi is currently under the protection of paramilitary police. The situation is reminiscent of last year’s deadly rioting in Tibet when Beijing closed the region to tourists. Since then, the tourism industry there has spent millions of dollars in efforts to attract visitors.