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China skiing takes off for 2022 Olympics


With Beijing set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, China's ski industry is seeing new resorts, new skiiers and new enthusiasm. It's needed, because China has only a very small winter sports tradition, mostly in skating.

The Chinese government has a plan to get 300 million people into winter sports, and to build the facilities needed for that. China's top real estate developer, Vanke, says that visitors to Chinese ski resorts have grown from only a few thousand 25 years ago to 12.5 million last year.

Vanke also said that China now has 568 ski resorts, up 25% in only one year. Most are run by private developers, and few are up to western, or Olympic, standards. But now that's changing. Canadian designers are behind the Changbaishan resort, now one of the leading destinations, with hotels by Park Hyatt, Sheraton and Westin nearby.

That one's at the high end of the market, but cheaper options are developing, including some in areas that will rely almost completely on man-made snow. That includes the area where the Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboarding events will be held. Another development in the works: The world's highest ski resort, to be built near Lhasa, Tibet.

More detail from The Guardian (UK) HERE

Canadian ski instructors training Chinese instructors.


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