Since the One-year countdown to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games has come, the Northeast Region of China, with abundant ice-snow resources, is ushering a golden period of opportunities to develop the ice-snow economy. After years of market cultivation, the region has turned its snow-covered wilderness into the land of treasures that has been attracting an increasing number of investors worldwide.
According to the commercial big-data analysis from the China Unionpay (CUP), during the past spring festival holiday, the Province of Jilin has achieved a 69.7% year-on-year growth of tourists, with more than eight million visitors in total. 7.4 billion RMBs were created as tourism revenues, which has increased by 49.28%, compared to that of last year. To some extent, the accelerated development of Jilin Province is the epitome of the boom of the ice-snow economy in the Northeast Region
In recent years, to cultivate the new engine to drive the economy has become one of the most significant tasks of the Northeast cities. Thus, there are far more than one local city targeting at the ice-snow resources and setting building the city as a strategic highland in the ice-snow industry as the ultimate goal. In the city of Jilin, the combination of rime scenery, skiing and hot spring has become a major tourism campaign, while Changchun chooses the “ice engraving + skiing” as its featured program. In Liaoning Province, the neighbor of Jilin Province, is also working to form a full chain of its ice-snow industry.
Since the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games is approaching, the Province of Jilin has conducted a series of activities themed with Olympics in Beijing, Experience in Jilin, and invested in a number of large-scale programs, boosting the development of ice-snow tourism. In the Northeast China, in addition to several well-known tourism attractions, including the Harbin Ice-Snow World and the China Snow Town, new facilities, such as Changchun’s New World of Ice and Snow, the Wanda Skiing Resort of Changbai Mountains, and the Wanke Skiing Resort of the Songhua Lake, have been in the hot list of the tourism destinations.
In the meantime, apart from the ice-snow tourism, a series of high-level sports competitions have been gaining popularity from the whole world, including the Heilongjiang International Skiing Festival, the Changchun Vasaloppet International Cross-country Skiing Festival, and the Shenyang Invitational Tournament of Winter Swimming. In particular, the Driverless Ice-snow Car Challenge was successfully held at Changchun in January 2021, which has attracted a group of elite participants.
Facing the risk of Covid-19 Pandemic, local cities in the Northeast China have released several consumption coupons and set the Experience Days in skiing resorts in order to encourage citizens to enjoy the ice-snow activities. Even some skiing resorts have added additional night slots for their customers.
As more products of the ice-snow tourism, with implantations of local elements, have been taking off in the market, the insiders believe that the hidden principle tends to be the continuous expansion of the ice-snow sports’ fans group, as well as the improvement of the whole industry. “The growth potential of China’s ice-snow enthusiasts is tremendous, and the development of ice-snow economy is promising,” says Mr. Hui Wang, Dean of the National Research Institute of Economics.
According to the Report of China’s Ice-Snow Economy Development 2020, by the end of 2019, the overall size of the ice-snow industry in China has reached 432.5 billion RMBs, while the constructions of the five industry chains, including ice-snow tourism, winter sports competitions, winter sports training, winter sports marketing, and winter sports equipment, have been initially completed.
According to the Action Plan to the Development of Ice-Snow Tourism (2021 – 2023), co-released recently by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the General Administration of Sport of China, the missions to sustain the steady and sound development of the ice-snow tourism market, develop a batch of premium ice-snow themed tourism resorts, promote a batch of skiing resorts, dramatically increase the number of tourists and expand the consumption scale of the ice-snow tourism, have been listed as the main goals in the following three years.
Eyes on the future, the Northeast China has been accelerating its process to deploy more ice-snow projects and continuously releasing the investment opportunities. In the following five years, the province of Jilin will revolve around its self-constructions to turn the region into a world-class destination to the skiing sports and entertainment industry and the skiing tourism, a cooperation and communication center of the international ice-snow industry, as well as a training base of the national ice-snow talents, while the province of Heilongjiang has proposed its ambition to expand its influence as an ice-snow resource-rich region and lead the country to promote the ice-snow tourism and winter sports to the whole world. In the meantime, the province of Liaoning has published a series of measures to comprehensively fill up the development gaps of its ice-snow projects and drive the industry to sustainably thrive.
As Mr. Zhiming Sun, director of Jilin’s Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of the Economic Research, states, the inborn advantages of the Northeast China in its ice-snow resources, have enabled the region to set developing ice-snow economy as an established goal. With the special attention from the departments concerned, plenty of investment opportunities have been unearthed for investors from home and abroad. The joint effort from all parties will contribute to establishing the leading center of the ice-snow economy and finally boost the revitalization of the Northeast China.