Around 800 ski resorts are to be built in China by 2022. The largest will be located three to five hours away from Beijing by car but only 45 minutes on the new high-speed train.
Photo: Archive of C. Mantona
Economy Events


Beijing 2022 – China’s winter sports industry

This year's online forum at the Digital China Talk held in March focused on whether and how alpine winter sports destinations can benefit from the upcoming Winter Olympics, which will take place in Beijing on February 4-20, 2022.

Created by Claudia Mantona

In total, about 89 participants took part in the Digital China Talk. The program was moderated by business developer Madeleine Tang, and the speakers were China expert Hermann Winkler (CEO and founder of the Tyrolean consulting and service agency Snow-How China and co-founder of Snow51) and Thomas Faulhaber, Head of Business Development and partner at Zeevan GmbH, an e-business agency for the Chinese online market.

Officials in China say that preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are right on schedule. They are assuming that the Corona pandemic will be over in time for the Games and there will be no need for athletes or visitors to go into quarantine. Although China is not a traditional winter sports country, the government wants 300 million Chinese to take up winter sports by 2022. But how realistic is that? Hermann Winkler’s answer: “The first point to note is that the figure of 300 million relates to winter sports in general, which include ice hockey, ice skating, etc. as well as skiing and snowboarding. With regard to skiing alone, the situation can be quantified in terms of skier days. Austria, France and the USA, for example, had 50 to 55 million skier days per winter season before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. Working on the assumption that China will become the world’s no. 1 skiing destination, we can expect to see something like 60 million skier days there. So in combination with the other winter sports, the total number of winter sports fans will be around the 300 million target set by the Chinese government.” In this context, Winkler pointed out that the authorities want the Chinese to have a positive first experience on the ski slopes, “but in fact, 99% of Chinese skiers have unfortunately had a very poor first experience. This is due on the one hand to their excessively optimistic expectations and on the other hand to the long distances to be traveled, inadequate ski instruction and a generally low level of skiing ability. We, too, want the first taste of skiing to be a positive experience for the Chinese. For this reason, together with our partner Snow51 in Shanghai, we are operating indoor ski facilities in several shopping malls, where the Chinese can learn to ski on artificial slopes. When the beginners are good enough, they can switch to the real slopes in the Chinese ski resorts.” The lack of competent ski instructors in China, however, is still a very big issue. In order to solve the problem, an innovative project was launched last year. Winkler explained: “Based on the Austrian training plan for ski instructors, a curriculum was developed that is exactly tailored to the Chinese situation. It is also our intention that these ski instructors should become effective ambassadors for Austria and thus for skiing vacations there.”

Winkler also said there is now a growing affluent middle class in urban China, who are focussing less on material status symbols like expensive cars and more on vacations and travel experiences with a difference. This has turned skiing into a status symbol for the Chinese. “It’s the new golf in China,” says Winkler.

Individual tourism on the rise

In this context, the China marketing specialist Thomas Faulhaber explained that the Chinese middle class is now a source of affluent individual tourists who are keen to take a skiing vacation in the Alps. “Individual tourists are quite different from the typical Chinese coach tourists who have so far flocked to the major cities of Europe. If you adapt to the needs of individual tourists from China, they are grateful and uncomplicated guests. It’s the little things the Chinese are used to in their own country that are so important – like an electric kettle in the room and mobile payment facilities. In general, the smartphone plays a very important role for the Chinese (e.g. for purchasing tickets via WeChat Pay.)” (WeChat was originally a chat service for smartphones that has grown in terms of functionality and is now indispensable to the Chinese.)

Photo: Andre Schoenherr

Swiss expert Laurent Vanat will unveil his analysis during Mountain Planet, one of the world’s leading trade shows for the mountain industry, which…

Read more
Photo: Überall

From the 6th to the 9th of May 2025, Messe Innsbruck will once again be the hotspot for the international ropeway and alpine technology industry and…

Read more
Photo: Doppelmayr

The next step taken by the Doppelmayr Group in autonomous ropeway mobility is "AURO" for chairlifts. The ropeway authorities in Switzerland and…

Read more
Photo: Doppelmayr

In the Mexican city of Uruapan, a 10-passenger gondola ropeway with a line length of 8.4 km and a rated capacity of 1,500 pphpd is now under…

Read more
Photo: Verlag Grada Publishing

In his latest book, the prominent Czech journalist Martin Harák, who has published many books and countless articles on the subject of railways and…

Read more

How XR, AR, VR and MR will change the travel experience of the future.

Read more
Photo: Pixabay

“Ropeways – Smart Transport Solutions” is the motto of OITAF’s 12th International Congress for Transportation by Rope, which will be held in…

Read more
Photo: Adobe Stock

Kelly Pawlak, President of the National Ski Area Association – NSAA, speaks about record capital investments in infrastructure, inspiring people to…

Read more
Photo: Skistar

In September 2022 the Swedish Skistar Group opened a 9,000 m² artificial ski slope on Hammarbybacken in the center of Stockholm using mats specially…

Read more
Photo: Skistar

NEVEPLAST/SKISTAR In September 2022 the Swedish Skistar Group opened a 9,000 m² artificial ski slope on Hammarbybacken in the center of Stockholm…

Read more

ISR Newsletter

Latest news relating to ropeways and winter destinations on your screen!

The most important news and reports about themes like ropeways, ski resorts, piste preparation, snowmaking and a lot more.

Subscribe now and stay in the know! Our bilingual Newsletter comes in German and English or German and French!


Subscription & Media Data