With the new winter makted in China the Austrian Economy sees a big chance. Photo:Ski Amadé Claudia Ziegler
Austrian economy getting ready
For many, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games are still too far off to start worrying about this upcoming mega event. Not so for winter sports industry entrepreneurs – for them, the hot phase has already begun. That’s because China, thanks to the Olympics, is becoming increasingly more interested in “snow and ice”. And while this interest still cannot quite compete with the popularity of table tennis, the national sport, you can clearly see a sharp uptick in the attention paid to the winter sports industry here.
As past interest was rather low, it is hardly surprising that a number of lifts and snow-making facilities are missing in the ski regions. This is why the Chinese market promises to become an Olympic Mecca for the Austrian economy. Experts expect European companies with proven track records in the snow and ice industry to make gigantic turnovers in China.
Already in 2017 the Chinese market boomed to a converted value of some 55 billion euros and a further increase to 85 billion is expected before the end of 2020. The driving forces behind this development are the Winter Olympics and China’s president Xi Jinping’s political promise to attract around 300 million Chinese with winter sports by 2022. This optimistic figure is adjusted downwards within the industry itself – to some three percent, i.e. 50 million amateur sportspeople. But even this number would represent a large new market.
European experts are looking forward to the possibilities of the Chinese market. Photo:Ski Amadé Markus Rohrbacher
New ski regions
More than 200 ski resorts remained closed in China last winter due to low visitor numbers and lack of snow. Despite this, new ski resorts continue to emerge which is the reason why Austrian companies, too, are trying to claim this market for themselves. Among them are also companies offering water-saving icemaking technology – in particular for the arid Beijing.
Viennese Snowsports Academy, too, is ready for 2022, sending ski instructors to the Yabuli Ski Resort in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. “Beijing is discovering the all-year recreational value of ski regions for its urban population and looking to Austria,” confirms Martin Glatz, Austria’s commercial counsellor in Beijing.