National Winter Sports Facilities Construction Plan (2016-22)
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.