Feature: National events bring opportunities for winter sports development in NW China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 29, 2023
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LANZHOU, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Practicing on the track, a dozen athletes cheered together for the team skiing down the hill quickly.

Athletes from different provinces, who will take part in the 2022-2023 China national biathlon championships and Invitation event, gather at the Baiyin national snow sports training base in Baiyin City in northwest China's Gansu Province.

The championships will run from February 3 to 9 at the training base with the Invitation event to be held between February 19 and 25 one year after the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Experts believe national-level snow events will bring more opportunities for the industry after Beijing 2022 in northwest China.

Wang Hongwei, director of the training base, introduced that over 270,000 tourists have visited the ski resort in the base since its establishment in 2017.

"More and more people have participated in winter sports thanks to different sports events and winter sports tourism," Wang said.

Baiyin resident Zhang Tao, 30, is the owner of a local ski club. "I teach around 10 amateurs as a part-time instructor now," he said, adding that his club has nearly 100 members now after it was established in 2020.

Statistics released by the Administration of Sport of Baiyin City shows that the city has nearly 400,000 square meters of skiing and skating areas now, which can meet the needs of local winter sports enthusiasts.

Built in late 2019, the training base has a service center with over 100 rooms, a 75,000-square-meter ski resort, an indoor training hall and a biathlon training area.

The base hosted the 2020-2021 national cross-country skiing Invitation and championships, and China's Para cross-country skiing and biathlon teams in their preparation for the Beijing 2022 Paralympics.

Zhang Yanbao, mayor of Baiyin City, said that all districts and counties of the city have set up winter sports associations and winter sports have become one of the most popular sports among Baiyin residents over the last two years.

A report on China's snow and ice tourism development predicts that the number of ice and snow leisure travelers in China is expected to reach 520 million in the 2024-2025 season, and related winter tourism revenue could reach 720 billion yuan (about 106.1 billion U.S. dollars).

Li Qiang, an executive in the Research Administration Department of the China Tourism Academy, believed that Beijing 2022 has not only shown great potential of China's tourism market, but also accelerated an overall upgrade of winter tourism.

"The integration of winter sports events and tourism in northwest China will promote the development of winter sports and tourism industry," Li said. Enditem

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