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Europe looks for bonanza from Games

By WANG MINGJIE in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-02-06 07:13

Growing popularity

In 2019 a total of 770 ski resorts were operating in China, one-third of which had opened in the previous five years, according to the 2020 China Ski Industry White Paper.

While COVID-19 slowed the pace of development, it never ceased, Vanat said.

China's winter leisure tourism industry is forecast to welcome more than 520 million visitors and have revenue of more than 720 billion yuan ($107 billion) in the 2024-25 ice and snow season, the China Tourism Academy says.

As skiing and snowboarding become more popular in China, the dream for those who frequent the slopes may be to go to the Alps, Eisinger said.

"So only a small percentage of those 340 million Chinese people is enough to bring benefit to alpine ski regions."

Once people have made their first steps in China and cultivated their interest into a lifestyle, "it seems only logical that eventually they will venture abroad to where they feel welcome", Sedlinger said.

"To put it bluntly, the new Chinese winter sports enthusiasts constitute a much-needed infusion of fresh blood to any destination willing to embrace it."

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