Dec 21, 2018 / SKIING / INVESTMENT

China to Open up to 800 new Ski Resorts

With just three years to go until Beijing hosts the next winter Olympics, it’s been revealed that as part of China’s plans to promote skiing, they will be opening up to 800 new ski resorts.

This means that by 2022, China will have more ski resorts than the whole of Europe. The Chinese government unveiled plans to develop the winter sports industry with heavy investments bringing 800 new resorts and 650 ice skating rinks ahead of the games with the aim of attracting 300 million people in China to winter sports. There are currently around 12 million skiers in China, making this a very significant increase in a short space of time. The Chinese government is actively pushing to increase the number of skiers in the country to ensure interest is high in time for the world’s biggest winter sports event.

The lack of snow in Chongli, the resort near Beijing which will host the games, has not put anyone off either – with massive snow-making machines working around the clock, producing plenty of powder for the slopes.

A report by Tencent and the internet consultancy Analysys estimates that winter sport tourism will generate more than £4.5billion revenue by 2020 in China alone. Quality resorts are in demand by Chinese tourists and operators are responding to their needs; Chongli’s Thaiwoo resort plans to have 200 ski slopes, a total of 138km in length, 21 magic carpets and 45 ski lifts. The Fulong Four Seasons Town currently offers a 750,000m² ski venue with hotels, extensive shopping, and hot springs. Skiers are willing to travel to find the best resorts, meaning they’ll happily look further afield to find their perfect ski experience.

What does this huge ski boom in China mean for the Asian ski property market? Now is the perfect time to look east and find your perfect investment property in this burgeoning market. There is so much potential for buyers in resorts across Asia, as hundreds of millions of people are introduced to the delights of winter sports in anticipation of the 2022 Winter Olympics, not just in China but throughout the region. And with hundreds of new resorts opening up, buyers will be spoilt for choice with regards to location. There are plenty of established Asian ski resorts for buyers who want to take advantage of reputable places. Japan and China’s ski season lasts typically from November to March, with Japan receiving between 100 and 500cm of snow each month, depending on the resort.

Jo Lodder from Snow Dog Village in Japan said: “We’ve seen an increase on last year at our resort Snow Dog Village of Chinese skiers. We’re not seeing the groups, but more adventure travellers looking for better snow than China has to offer. There’s also an increase in investors, even Jack Ma is building a house in Annupuri near to our resort and new project, and this will just increase the drive and interest in the area.

“Asia is a very exciting place to be now from a skiing perspective, particularly Japan where we have the 'Champagne Snow'. Skiing is becoming more and more popular not only with the Chinese but also throughout other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. We’re also seeing guests from Canada and the United States who are wanting to grab a piece of JAPOW; basically, Japan has the best snow and people travel to get that. Exciting times for all involved.”

Robert Green, founder of Sphere Estates, expands on the Chinese ski market: “Incredibly, China has around 700 ski resorts and around 1.2 million skiers and snowboarders. However, most choose to travel to Japan, Canada, Italy and Switzerland because service is considered better there. This may all change after the 2022 Winter Olympics which is being hosted in Beijing. Resorts will be looking to up their game and attract not only local skiers but also foreigners – including Australians as around 10% of inbound tourism in China is from Australia.

“Since it was announced that Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, China has put significant effort and money - an estimated £169 billion is being put into building hundreds of new ski resorts ahead of the games - into developing its snow-sports industry and also into training athletes. Many experts believe it to be the fastest growing ski market in the world. The climate can be harsh but the ski season often lasts five months, from November until the end of March. This poses significant potential to develop the Chinese residential ski market with demand coming from abroad as well as domestically.”

Check out our properties in Asia – an area where we are also expanding and regularly updating – and find your next residence in a great resort.