Taking to the slopes

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In recent years, China has witnessed an increase in the number of ski resorts, drawing more people to take up the winter sport. [Photo provided to China Daily]

More and more Chinese are itching to try their hand at skiing, and experience the breathtaking winter sport for the first time-and especially with their families.

With Beijing and Hebei province's Zhangjiakou co-hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, this trend is expected to grow exponentially. And this is gaining the attention of both overseas and domestic resort operators who are keen to get into this emerging market.

According to the 2016 China Ski Industry White Book, more than 11.33 million Chinese went skiing last year, with an average time on the slopes of 1 hour 20 minutes. Beijing, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Jilin had the most number of skiers, while the number of ski resorts in China grew to 646, with 78 new resorts opening in 2016.

"Skiing and snowboarding holidays are still a niche market in China, but more and more Chinese have been taking to the slopes in recent years, thanks to the increasing number of ski resorts," says Sebastien Portes, general manager of Club Med Hong Kong and Macao.

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