Snow Sports Gain Popularity in China since Winter Olympic game
- Report Published: China Tourism Academy’s “China Ice and Snow Tourism Development Report (2023)”
- 2021-2022 Snow Season Statistics:
- Ice and snow leisure tourism participants: 344 million
- Future Projections:
- By 2024-2025 snow season (end of ‘Fourteenth Five-Year Plan’ period)
- Expected participants in ice and snow leisure tourism: 520 million
- Anticipated revenue from ice and snow leisure tourism: 720 billion yuan
Winter Sports Enthusiasm Soars as Ski Resorts Open in Changchun
After a long half-year wait, the joy of skiing has returned for winter sports enthusiasts. This past weekend marked the opening of two popular ski resorts in Changchun City – Tianding Mountain Ski Resort and Miaoxiang Mountain Ski Resort – stirring excitement both on the slopes and in online discussions about skiing.
According to the “2023 Ski Travel Trend Report” released by Tongcheng Travel, in the first week of November, the search popularity related to skiing surged by 120%, with a similar increase in bookings for ski resort tickets and ski-related holiday products.
North’s Snow, South’s Heat: Southern Tourists Flock to Changchun for Skiing
Leveraging its natural advantages, Northern China is considered the heartland of skiing. In recent years, the skiing craze has grown rapidly, attracting an increasingly large group of enthusiasts. Although the new ski season has just started, residents from southern regions like Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai have already shown great anticipation for skiing. Tongcheng Travel data reveals that our province, with an early opening and numerous ski resorts, ranks second in the list of popular ski destinations. Our city, home to four major ski resorts, is a sought-after destination for both domestic and international tourists for winter skiing. This season, most visitors are from provinces such as Jiangsu, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hubei, and Zhejiang.
On November 11th, the opening day of the two ski resorts in Changchun, saw an overwhelming turnout. Long queues formed at the ski lifts and magic carpets, with skiers eagerly awaiting their turn. “We want to experience the thrill of wearing short sleeves one day and down jackets the next,” said one visitor. Many skiers from provinces like Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai find Changchun an attractive destination. At Tianding Mountain Ski Resort, a visitor from Jiangsu hesitated before his first slide, admitting his inexperience but excitement about skiing.
Chinese Younger Generation Takes to the Slopes
In recent years, as winter sports tourism heats up, the number of skiers has been climbing, showing a trend towards a younger demographic. Data from Tongcheng Travel indicates that the “post-90s” and “post-00s” generations make up over half of the skiing enthusiasts, with the “post-80s” close to thirty percent. Among these young skiers, 82% are beginners, eager to experience the joy of skiing.
Students from Northeast Normal University, new to skiing, expressed their excitement about their first skiing experience. They arrived together on a bus, illustrating the sport’s growing popularity among university students. “Skiing has become a fashion among young people,” noted a student, “and the resorts are very welcoming to us, with discounts for students like at Tianding Mountain Ski Resort.”
More Than Just Skiing: A Boost in Consumer Spending
The opening of the ski resorts has not only brought excitement to the slopes but also invigorated consumer spending in the area. Restaurants, hotels, and ski equipment shops in the vicinity of the resorts are experiencing a surge in business. Even supermarkets are seeing increased foot traffic.
A local resident of Lianhua Mountain Ecotourism Resort mentioned how the area has become lively with the influx of visitors. This boom in ski-related consumer spending extends beyond the slopes, encompassing dining, accommodation, and equipment sales. On opening day, ski equipment shops saw a rise in customers seeking ski adjustments, new ski goggles, gloves, and other accessories.
A Look at China’s Ski Resorts in China Jilin and Xinjiang
As winter sets in, the ski resorts of Jilin and Xinjiang in China have commenced operations for the snow season, marking a continual rise in the popularity of snow sports.
In Jilin, renowned for its abundant ice and snow resources, the onset of heavy snowfall in Northeast China has led to the opening of well-known ski resorts like Beidahu. Ski enthusiasts are eagerly hitting the slopes, embracing the allure of winter sports. Meanwhile, in Xinjiang, the 2023 snowfall arrived earlier than in previous years. The Keketuohai ski resort in Fuyun County began operations from October 1st.
Social Media Help to Boost Sales in Tourism , via RED
It is reported that out of the four major ski resorts in the Altay region of Xinjiang, three are already operational. Notably, the Jiangjunshan Ski Resort in Altay City, the only alpine ski resort located within a city in China, is favored by both domestic and international tourists for its long snow season and excellent snow quality.
In 2023, with policy and financial support from local cultural, sports, and tax authorities, Jiangjunshan Ski Resort added ten new ski runs and introduced an intelligent ticketing system, enhancing the resort’s operations in terms of efficiency and intelligence.
A big Market
According to relevant data, with the sweep of cold air across many parts of the country, the popularity of the two main winter tourism activities – skiing and hot springs – is continuously climbing. An online travel site indicated that national ski resort ticket reservations have increased by 147% compared to 2019. Industry insiders suggest that the domestic ski market is set for a robust revival in the 2023-2024 snow season.
The China Tourism Academy’s “China Ice and Snow Tourism Development Report (2023)” highlights that during the 2021-2022 snow season, the country’s ice and snow leisure tourism attracted 344 million visits. It is projected that by the end of the “Fourteenth Five-Year Plan” period (2024-2025), the number of ice and snow leisure tourists could reach 520 million, with tourism revenue expected to hit 720 billion yuan.
This article underscores the growing enthusiasm for winter sports in China, backed by significant improvements in facilities and supportive government policies, and anticipates a significant surge in both participation and revenue in the coming years
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