What will the 2022 Winter Games mean for the Chinese ski industry?
Russia reportedly spent $50 Billion on creating an Olympic venue in Socchi that is now largely reverted to its pre-Olympic stature. Will the same dashing of hopes happen in 2022? I actually think that the China event will be profitable for the industry and maybe even China! First, look at all the Beijing 2008 venues that will be used for 2022. Not much extra cost there. And the Zhangjiakou venues mostly already exist and just need to be organized for the 2022 Games. Not a lot of incremental cost here either. Then look at the transportation system between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. The high speed rail to connect Inner Mongolia with Beijing was already planned and its completion in time for the Olympics puts 20+ million people within 90 minutes of the ChongLi resort cluster. The new airport in Zhangjiakou further brings the mountain sports industry developing in the ChongLi County parts of Zhangjiakou within reasonable travel distance from other Chinese mega-cities. The only real investment will be the development of a new Alpine ski area on Haituo Mountain 90km north of Beijing. The area is a popular hiking destination for Beijingers. Will they build just the competition trails that the bulk of China's skiers will find of limited interest or will they build a complete trail system with a full range of ability terrain and enough trails to qualify it as an international standard resort to compete with the likes of the ChongLi resort cluster? Being only 90 km from Beijing could be a huge advantage, but only if is perceived as something other than just another Beijing "local' ski area. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out!
When I wrote the first version of this post a few years back the last thing on my mind was a Black Swan event such as Covid. While I still expect that despite Covid the results will be positive, one cannot help but be saddened by the losses that will come from Covid imposed restrictions and rules. Of course there will be the enormous costs to operate a 14,000 person bubble that allows international athletes into the country. But there is a more personal cost to those Chinese winter sports industry professionals who grew up from their teens along with China’s nascent industry. This was to be their “coming of age” celebration, where they were welcomed into the world of their international peers. A similar loss will also accrue to those intrepid entrepreneurs who have put everything on the line to build a real Chinese winter sports industry. Because of Covid and the limitation of media-only coverage, those opportunities will mostly pass by, leaving the Chinese winter sports industry as it was before, a Chinese industry built by Chinese for Chinese customers. However, with 1.4 billion potential customers, that is not too shabby as consolation prizes go!
With the opening of several new International Class Ski Resorts, positions for experienced Western Instructors are starting to emerge. In past years we have had many ask us how to seek such positions, but were largely unsuccessful in their attempt to find such positions. That has changed.
The difficulty is, of course, language. If you speak Chinese, you can certainly get a job at any of the resorts. However, most western ski instructors that might be interested do not. Nonetheless, this is lower on the job requirements list now than it used to be as the large resorts realize that to get the instructors they want accommodations for language must be made.
If you areinterested, contact usand we can put you in contact with the appropriate resort to find out if they are still looking.
Altay back country skiing potential featured in a new Ski China movie
SkiChina.com visited and filmed a movie on China Skiing to shot during the 2013-2014 winter at various resort and off-resort locations around China during March and April. Now showing atwww.skichina.com.