Beijing Winter Olympics boost China’s winter sports economy
The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, currently in full swing, have ignited the Chinese people’s enthusiasm for winter sports, and have also boosted China’s ice and snow sports industry.
Trips related to ice and snow tourism soared from 170 million in the 2016-2017 period to 254 million in the 2020-2021 period, and are expected to hit 305 million during the 2021-2022 period, according to a report on the development of China’s ice and snow tourism in 2022 recently released by the China Tourism Academy.
The surging figure is largely attributable to the Beijing Winter Olympics, said Lyu Ning, dean of the School of Tourism Sciences at Beijing International Studies University. She added that this trend is characterized by a growing number of repeated visitors, which is a manifestation of the huge potential of China’s winter sports economy.
According to China's development plan for winter sports from 2016 to 2025, the total scale of the industry will reach one trillion yuan (about $157.2 billion) by 2025. To fully tap the industry’s potential and to give it a boost, Lyu suggested developing “winter sports plus” programs, that is, integrating the ice-and-snow economy with other industries such as culture, tourism, sports, sanatorium, and media. In addition, efforts should be made to build international winter sports resorts and fields for high-level ski competitions.
Lyu observed that winter sports tourism destinations should highlight their own features such as hot springs, local culture and customs, in order to build their own individual brands. Lyu said that the country should focus on developing the region between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the co-host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics, as a world-famous destination for winter sports, as well as integrating the sport, culture and tourist industries in the region.
Lyu also hoped that more competitive Chinese winter sports enterprises will be cultivated, and called on China’s winter sports companies to enhance their own research and development capabilities, to provide more domestically manufactured equipment for ski resorts, such as aerial tramways.
Moreover, Lyu noted that professional services, equipment, and coaching must be in place to attract regular winter sports participants.
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