World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo held last week, has showcased China’s huge market in this industry. The China Winter Sports Report 2021 pointed out that the market has grown from 270 billion RMB ($41.75 billion) in 2019, to 600 billion RMB ($92.78 billion) in 2020, more than doubling during the pandemic. This report also estimated that in 2025, this industry will bring 500 million tourists, creating 1.1 trillion RMB ($1700 billion) of revenue, which will make up almost one-fifth of the entire sports industry.
China’s winter sports industry is considered one of the fastest-growing in the world. Even during the pandemic, 150 million Chinese people attended ice or snow sports, equal to 13.9% of the overall population. 41.2% of the 150 million, played winter sports more than 3 times a year, indicating a large number of frequent participants. For those who did not take part in any winter activities in the past year, the most mentioned reason was “lack of facilities nearby”. To meet this need and further promote mass sport, the General Administration of Sport of China plans to have 650 skating venues and 800 ski resorts ready by 2022.
There is an interesting trend in the development of winter sports facilities – year-round resorts. This trend was noticed at the end of 2020, when large and high-quality sites, which are operated all year round, sprung up in southern China, contributing up to 15%-20% of the annual revenue.
This boom in winter sports is largely thanks to Beijing’s success in the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It has ignited a growing passion for winter games amongst Chinese young people, particularly among Gen-Z and Gen-Y.