Na­tional Winter Sports Fa­cil­i­ties Con­struc­tion Plan (2016-22)

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS BUSINESS -

pros­per, as the govern­ment in Novem­ber is­sued plans to pro­mote winter sports.

The coun­try aims to get 300 mil­lion peo­pleon­the slopes by the time Bei­jing and nearby Zhangji­akou host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The plan pro­posed that there will be at least 800 ski ar­eas by that time, with hun­dreds of brand newones.

There were 568 ski ar­eas and cen­ters in China in 2015, an in­crease of 108 over the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to a white pa­per is­sued by China Vanke Co Ltd’s Lake Songhua Re­sort.

Ex­perts said ski re­sorts are likely to rake in more prof­its than ever be­fore, while the key to win­ning the po­ten­tial mar­ket is to in­crease cus­tomer re­ten­tion — as im­por­tant as build­ing cus­tomer base.

“Many prov­inces, such as He­bei and those in the north­east of China, have the nat­u­ral re­sources to de­velop ski­ing,’’ said Li Yanli, a pro­fes­sor at Bei­jing Sport Uni­ver­sity.

Li added that they need to im­prove op­er­a­tions and fa­cil­i­ties to hold onto skiers who will have more choice than ever be­fore.

In China, one-time skiers ac­counted for a con­sid­er­able por­tion of vis­its with 80 per­cent of skiers vis­it­ing just once a year, ac­cord­ing to a re­search con­ducted by 36kr, a Chi­nese me­dia web­site.

The first ski ex­pe­ri­ence can of­ten be dis­ap­point­ing for most be­gin­ners, with ex­tremely low re­turn rates, wrote in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant Lau­rent Vanat in the 2016 In­ter­na­tional Re­port on Snow & Moun­tain Tourism.

Vanat said op­er­a­tors should fo­cus on teach­ing and de­vel­op­ing skills to un­leash mar­ket po­ten­tial.

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