Ice-snow tourism becomes a new Chinese New Year ‘tradition’
After spending the first day of the Spring Festival holiday at home, He Rui rushed to the local ski resort early the next day and was ready to tackle the Year of the Rabbit on his snowboard. This winter sports enthusiast has already mastered the S-turn, and is working on his square grip. Since he started skiing two years ago, the 11-year-old has grown accustomed to getting up early and heading to Jiulong International Ski Resort in the suburb of Taiyuan, the provincial capital Shanxi (northern China), sometimes even before dawn.
“Before, during the Spring Festival holiday, people would stay home and relax. But today, as our society places more importance on a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are willing to spend their holidays skiing,” said Chang Yulin, director of the ski resort, adding that the complex recently received more than 2,000 snow sports enthusiasts a day, some of whom came from other provinces.
The Spring Festival holiday, a time that traditionally sees Chinese people returning home for family reunions, this year took place from Jan. 21-27.
For Qiao Jian, a ski enthusiast from Taiyuan, skiing has become a new habit to celebrate the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year. For the third consecutive year, he flew with his family to Heilongjiang Province (northeast China), where the atmosphere of ice and snow is more developed than in his home region. “Apart from participating in winter sports, we can also visit nearby tourist spots to better appreciate local customs and culture,” he said.
With lanterns hung high and paper cuts taped to the windows, the Yabuli Sun Mountain complex welcomed visitors from all over China. According to the station, some customers had even booked five months in advance.
“In our resort, we have 17 ski slopes of all kinds and different levels. With a maximum slope of 40 degrees to a minimum of 6 degrees, we can meet the needs of skiers of all levels,” explained Sun Nianwei, director of marketing and sales.
At a recent forum on ice and snow tourism, Dai Bin, president of the Chinese Academy of Tourism, pointed out that ice and snow tourism has revitalized traditional folklore and created a number of tourist destinations. and more modern, dynamic and fashionable consumption scenarios.
Boosted by the last Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, ice and snow tourism has gradually gained popularity among Chinese people. A report on the development of snow and ice tourism in China predicts that the number of people taking snow and ice leisure trips in China is expected to exceed 300 million during the snow and ice season. ice 2022-2023. This number should reach 520 million in three years, while the corresponding tourist receipts should reach 720 billion yuan (97.66 billion euros).
China now has no less than 300 million winter sports people, so in order to further stimulate people’s enthusiasm, the central government mentioned the promotion of ice and snow industry and the construction of ski tourism resorts in several planning documents. Possessing abundant ice and snow resources, the northern, northeast and northwest regions of the country have introduced corresponding measures.
The province of Hebei (north China), located near the capital and one of the host venues of the Beijing Winter Olympics, has proposed in particular to strengthen the use of the Olympic Games venues in Beijing. winter, accelerate the improvement of infrastructure and support services, and cultivate new consumption growth points in competition performance, venue services, and sports training and tourism, among others.
Genting Snow Park, one of the venues for the last Winter Olympics, has opened the U-shaped terrain, Moguls, and five other slopes to the public, to meet the wishes of snow enthusiasts, while other resorts Local ski resorts have launched multiple activities to attract tourists.
“We hold different themed activities here every day, such as Spring Festival gala, dragon and lion dance and band performances, so that visitors can both enjoy skiing and have a special holiday. for the Spring Festival,” said Ren Xiaoqiang, director of a local company’s marketing center.
Dai Bin, for his part, believes that the popularization of winter sports in China opens a new era for the country and even for the world, suggesting to meet this trend to cultivate a number of enterprises in the field of snow production. ice and snow equipment, cultural creativity and specialized tourism.