Winter is when rich travelers head downhill
Winter is the time when the wealthy like to hit the slopes.
Overseas ski-trip bookings through Chinese luxury-travel operator HHtravel have increased 40 percent year-on-year, the company reports.
“It shows high-end tourism is shifting toward adventure,” chief operating officer Guo Ming says.
Upmarket travelers increasingly seek seasonal scenery and outdoor fun, Guo says.
The agency’s winter trips cost between 70,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan ($10,560 to $15,087).
Many clients are senior executives and private business owners, who take their families along.
Switzerland, Canada and Japan top the list of destinations.
The Swiss town boasts the Alps’ highest trails. Travelers can hop aboard the Glacial Express to reach the settlement and hike among the Alps to enjoy the stunning snowy views and fresh air.
Zermatt’s ski resort claims to be one of the world’s 10 largest. Its longest course runs 21 kilometers. It also offers private coaching for various skiing levels. The courses are also near one of the country’s largest hot springs, Leukerbad.
This Swiss luxury resort is nestled in a mountain valley and offers magnificent views beneath blue skies. It’s said alpine skiing was invented here in 1864. It has 350 km of slopes, including 3 km available in autumn. It’s also near the Bad Ragaz hot spring. St. Moritz has hosted two Winter Olympics.
This destination in the Austrian Alps is celebrated for the Soelden ski resort, which has hosted World Cup races and was featured in the blockbuster film James Bond 007:
The resort covers 434 hectares and rises roughly 2,000 meters above sea level. It hosts a total of 145 km of courses. The nearby Aqua Dome hotel offers splendid Alps views, hot springs and sauna treatments.
Canada’s Whistler ski resort claims to be the largest of its kind in North America. It offers narrow and steep trails with abrupt twists and turns. Snow conditions are complex, making for an ideal challenge for daredevil and veteran skiers. It hosts over 200 trails and winter entertainment facilities. Many visitors ride snowmobiles over frozen lakes through the wilderness.
Silver Star Mountain Resort
Canada’s Silver Star is particularly popular with families. Snowsheathed Victorian architecture creates a winter-wonderland vibe. The powdery snow and varied terrain makes the resort one of the country’s most popular.
Japan’s northernmost island is best for skiing in January and February. Tomamu resort offers diverse mountain trails for skiers of all skill levels. Private Chineselanguage coaching services are available.
(left), a Swiss luxury resort, and Oetztal Valley (right) in the Austrian Alps, are among top high-end winter destinations that draw upmarket travelers.