Over­seas ski re­sorts cater to the Chi­nese

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Global ski re­sorts are hop­ing it’s downhill all the way for Chi­nese skiers whose in­creas­ing pres­ence on the slopes is leading to a blizzard of change for a sport once con­sid­ered the exclusive do­main of the elite.

Chi­nese skiers are flock­ing to world-class ski re­sorts, and Canada has been hir­ing in­creas­ing num­bers of Chi­nese or Chi­nese-speak­ing in­struc­tors, ac­cord­ing to the Cana­dian Tourism Com­mis­sion.

“More Chi­nese people are com­ing to Canada to ski and we are hir­ing more Chi­nese in­struc­tors,” said Derek Galpin, the com­mis­sion’s chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive in China.

“We are also con­sid­er­ing send­ing Cana­dian in­struc­tors to China to fur­ther boost ski­ing in China.”

The com­mis­sion held the Canada Nan­shan Ski Mogul Slope Cham­pi­onship on Feb 23 at the Nan­shan ski re­sort on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal.

The com­mis­sion said it would hold more pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties to boost the sport while at­tract­ing more tourists to its ski re­sorts.

The num­ber of Chi­nese tourists head­ing to Canada reg­is­tered an an­nual rise of about 20 per­cent in 2013. In­creased flights and eas­ier visa pro­ce­dures sug­gest this num­ber should at least be main­tained in 2014.

Yang Jin­song, a pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional tourism at the China Tourism Academy, said Chi­nese people are in­creas­ingly relishing the chal­lenge of the slopes, and the mar­ket has huge po­ten­tial.

But it’s not just ski­ing that at­tracts so many, he said. Chi­nese tourists also want to ex­pe­ri­ence other ac­tiv­i­ties, such as sleigh rides, snow­board­ing, dog sled­ding, snow tub­ing, ice fish­ing and view­ing po­lar bears in their nat­u­ral habi­tat.

Galpin agreed: “Dif­fer­ent from the Euro­pean and US tourists, who came mainly for the ski­ing, our study shows the Chi­nese are also in­ter­ested in other win­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Canada is not alone in its ef­forts to get more people onto its slopes.

Switzer­land has trained eight Chi­nese ski in­struc­tors and placed them in leading re­sorts such as St. Moritz, Davos, Zer­matt and Gstaad, ac­cord­ing to trav­el­er­sto­day.com.

The Swiss Tourist Of­fice in­vited Chi­nese del­e­gates to spend four months sam­pling the slopes and asked them to sug­gest im­prove­ments specif­i­cally for Chi­nese tourists.

About 5 mil­lion Chi­nese tourists va­ca­tion in the Swiss Alps each year, the of­fice said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.