While European ski resorts are still partly closed and the start of the season is often catastrophic, there is one market that does not have this problem: China.
Very affected by the coronavirus last winter, the winter sports industry has recovered in China. Like the entire economy. After a sharp drop in attendance and income generated last season, Chinese authorities expect a significant increase for this season. Last winter had caused a loss of income of some 240 billion yuan (about 30 billion euros). China had been crippled by the onset of the pandemic long before the rest of the world. In March, when the European stations closed their doors, the Chinese installations came back to life.
Skiing in China: 49 billion euros in economic benefits
This season, that crisis should only be a distant memory. Winter sports tourism is expected to generate some 390 billion yuan in economic benefits (around 49 billion Euros). A figure to be compared to some 10 billion euros in economic benefits from skiing in Austria, the leading ski country in Europe.
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An analyst from the China Tourist Academy (CTA) points out that with a planet still blocked by health restrictions, the Chinese should massively turn to domestic tourism. With some 1.4 billion inhabitants, the figures are quickly disproportionate in China. Especially since the tourism sector as a whole contributes nearly 10% of Chinese GDP. Last December, the same Chinese organization (CTA) underlined the strong growth of Chinese domestic tourism. It should be enough to revive the entire tourism industry in the country.
Learn more. Please note that what we find under the banner of “winter sports tourism” is not quite comparable in China and in Europe. Skiing is much more developed with us. A good part of the “ice and snow” tourists (as we can call them in China) do not ski. The “stations” are there closer to the “snow” theme park, located on the outskirts of the big cities. When you rather find picturesque villages or ski-in / ski-out resorts in the heart of the European mountains.
Illustrations © 罗布泊 CC BY-SA 3.0