60.3% of respondents are involved in more ice-and-snow trips one year after the Winter Olympics, with the nation’s ice and snow tourism revenue expected to skyrocket by 2025
Published: Feb 14, 2023 03:29 AM
People have fun at a ski resort in Jilin, northeast China's Jilin Province, Jan 23, 2023. Photo:Xinhua

People have fun on snow at a ski resort in Jilin, Northeast China's Jilin Province, on January 23, 2023. Photo:Xinhua

In the first winter season of the post-Beijing Winter Olympics era, 60.3 percent of survey respondents said they have plans for ice and snow leisure-related travel, a new survey shows. Meanwhile, the latest report predicts that the national ice and snow tourism revenue will reach 720 billion yuan ($105 million) by 2025.

With the demonstration effect brought about by the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, skiing is gradually changing from a sport to a leisure lifestyle, which is expected to drive continued growth in market consumption, said Wu Bin, vice chairman of the Beijing Ski Association, China Securities Journal reported Monday.

The 2022-2023 snow season has seen a surge in the number of ice rinks and snow fields, igniting the enthusiasm for ice and snow sports, which in turn is promoting the expansion and upgrading of sports consumption and injecting confidence in the consumer market.

Industry insiders believe that the growth of the scale of the ice and snow industry will have a positive impact on the market. It is expected that the ice and snow industry will create numerous employment opportunities, while driving industrial upgrading and innovation.

Chongli, North China's Hebei Province, a venue for the Beijing Winter Olympics snow events and one of the most popular ski resorts in China,  has witnessed a significant rise in amateur skiers this ski season. 

According to industry insiders, some snow resorts have seen an increase in ticket prices compared to the previous year. 

Dong, a staff member at a ski club in Chongli, told the Global Times on Monday that the club has received twice as many people this year compared to last year and their social media following has grown from 9,000 to over 28,000. 

"Our club's data showed the number of clients received this year has increased 220 percent compared to last year, with a 180 percent increase in demand for hotel accommodation, especially during the Chinese New Year when there was a shortage of rooms," Dong said. "Ticketing and coaching business also showed a 30 percent and 80 percent growth, respectively. There is a higher demand in high-end snow equipment rental, pick-up and other full-service compared to the previous year."

Northeast China's Jilin Province, known for its rich winter tourism resources, is another top destination. Stimulated by the double benefits of the Spring Festival holidays and China's optimized COVID-19 prevention and control policies, the province has seen a sharp rise in tourism recently. During the holidays, the province received 11.54 million domestic tourists, a 23.61 percent increase year-on-year. Among them, 18.1 percent were tourists from other provinces, who accounted for 68.9 percent of tourism consumption.

The city of Jilin, nicknamed "the capital of rime and a paradise for skiing," received a total of 1.98 million tourists, generating 2.259 billion yuan ($332 million) in income. According to data, Jilin's most famous Beidahu Ski Resort and Vanke Songhua Lake Ski Resort received a total of 92,800 visitors during the 2023 Spring Festival holidays, up 4.74 percent year-on-year, and realized a tourism revenue of 60.57 million yuan, up 10.68 percent year on year.

Jin Yongshan, secretary of the Party Committee of the Jilin City Ice and Snow Economy High Quality Development Pilot Zone, told the Global Times that the Beidahu Ski Resort, which became the largest single ski resort in Asia in 2022, saw a 16-fold increase in hotel reservations around the holidays compared with that in 2019.

"We used to ski in Beijing but now Jilin's winter sports industry is getting better and better. And as our country downgrades the epidemic control policies, this [Jilin Province] has become our favorite tourist and sports destination," a 27-year-old woman surnamed Chen told the Global Times.

The growth in the number of people participating in ice and snow sports has also directly driven the sales of ice and snow sports-related goods. Data provided by the online commerce platform JD shows a 114% year-on-year increase in the total turnover of ice and snow sports-related goods in 2022, with an increasing number of online ice and snow sports purchase users each year.

According to a research report released in 2022, it is expected that the market size of China's ice and snow industry will exceed 1 trillion yuan in 2025.

According to the latest report released by China Tourism Research Institute, it is expected that the number of "snow and ice" travelers in China will reach 520 million by 2025, and the revenue of snow and ice leisure travel in China will reach 720 billion yuan, when "snow and ice tourism" becomes the core engine of winter tourism and "snow and ice economy."