ALPITEC CHINA: EXPORTING TRADITION
South Tyrol is one of the few places in the world where winter technologies have the ideal conditions to grow and develop. Creativity and innovation are the key factors that led the region to become one of the most important winter sports tourism destinations worldwide. In fact, any global players and world market leaders in the production of winter technologies are proud to be calling South Tyrol their home.
The numbers of the South Tyrolean winter industry speak a clear language:
- 45 ski resorts (you've got to admit - given that South Tyrol has only a little over 7.000 sq km, that is a pretty large number)
- 1.180 km slopes, over 90% of which are equipped with artificial snow making systems
- 400 ropeways and lifts, which are able to carry half a million people in one hour
- 2.3 million winter tourists with more than 11 million overnight stays a year
- 62 ski schools and 2.200 ski instructors, which makes up for 0,05% of the entire South Tyrolean population
Aside from it's shere size, China really isn't that different from South Tyrol. In fact, they share many geographical similarities! And when it comes to passion for winter sports, China is quickly catching up to the Alp regions: In fact, the growth rates of the Chinese winter industry are astonishing. After the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, some first state-run ski areas were built in Northern China, which were used exclusively by professional athletes for training purposes. Skiing as a sport of the masses has only been around for a little more than 20 years, when private ski resorts started developing in 1996.
In recent years, skiing and snowboarding has become the latest market trend in China, destined to "boom", as an increasingly affluent middle class started finding new ways to spend their wealth and leisure time.The China Ski Association put the number of skiers in China at 5 million in 2005, up from just 200.000 in 2000 and predicted 20 million skiers to soon be populating China's slopes. New estimates show that in 2016, there were already over 15 million skiers visiting the now almost 650 Chinese ski resorts, and these numbers are only going to grow in the next few years leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.