Winter sports are becoming increasingly popular in China

During the Spring Festival vacation, Wang Wei and his friends alternated between big meals and poker games together, but this year they discovered a new activity: skiing.

“It’s more convenient and healthy than drinking around the table… we can exercise and get closer at the same time,” said Wang Wei, who lives in Linhe District, Bayannur City, in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. .

Snow and ice activities have become a popular choice for Chinese people during the Spring Festival holiday from January 21 to 27 this year, thanks to people’s awareness of health and safety and the availability of infrastructure for snow and ice activities.

At the Duolanhu ski area where Wang Wei went, the number of daily visitors has been around 800 since January 22, the first day of the Chinese New Year. This indicator has increased by more than 30 percent compared to the corresponding period of previous years.

“Skiing enriches our entertainment. It’s not only a sport, but also a healthy lifestyle,” said Li Yuan, who went skiing in the region with his colleagues.

“More than half of visitors are beginners,” said Li Zhongqiang, the area’s general manager, adding that the resort has added new programs such as snowtubing (a kind of large float in the snow) and snowslides to attract tourists. more people.

“Now that there are more places for ice and snow sports in our district, we are more active in our participation,” noted local resident Li Lei.

The local government also launched an initiative with 24 companies to issue 100,000 coupons worth 10 million yuan (€1.4 million) for ice and snow sports to support winter tourism.

Bolstered by China’s Winter Olympics and the easing of restrictions on travel, ice and snow tourism due to Covid-19, Chinese people seeking a different Spring Festival experience have grown in popularity.

The most popular ski resorts in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region welcomed about 121,800 people during the Spring Festival, an increase of about 5% compared to the same period last year. According to the latest statistics, tourism revenue increased by 80.16 percent year-on-year and reached 19.96 million yuan.

The regional Department of Culture and Tourism reports that ice and snow programs in Xinjiang have become a popular travel option during the Spring Festival, attracting tourists from all over China and boosting hospitality, catering and entertainment businesses.

Guosong Village in Jilin Province (Northeast) is a traditional favorable location for ice and snow tourism. Illuminated displays are set up for the Spring Festival, promoting local restaurants after dark, where visitors can dine after a long day of skiing.

The village is located just 1 km from the ski resort of Changbai Mountain, one of the most famous powder bases in the world. The once isolated village in the mountains is now full of visitors thanks to the growing popularity of ice and snow tourism.

Official statistics show that during the Spring Festival holiday this year, reservations for lodges around the slopes in Jilin increased more than 16 times compared to 2019.

A report on the development of ice and snow tourism in China predicts that the number of travelers for these activities will exceed 300 million in the 2022-2023 season. This figure could reach 520 million within three years, and tourism-related revenues are expected to reach 720 billion yuan.

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