In 2015, when Beijing won the organization of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games against Almaty (Kazakhstan), that was a great feeling of joy and pride for China. The organization of such an event is a very good opportunity for a country to shine internationally. The eyes of the whole world will be on China, and China intends to dazzle us.
However, we can not say that the Chinese society has a big winter sports culture. They take a long shot! But the government has launched some actions to raise the interest of residents to them. He hopes for some 300 million winter sports fans by 2022 in the country. China is thus experiencing a real turning point in its approach to mountain sports. Hundreds of ski resorts projects are born, to allow all inhabitants to be initiated to this sport.
In addition, China (the third largest country in the world) is made up of two-thirds of mountains. The potential is huge in this country! Knowing that with the frenzy of the Olympics, China is now experiencing the same transition as lived the Alps in the 70s. Market opportunities are many and varied. Here are some examples:
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The construction of the stations
Many stations will be built successively, generating colossal yards with large budgets across the country. That of Zhangjiakou for example (which will be part of the Olympic zone) is estimated at 2.7 billion dollars for a decade of work. It should include several hundred tracks around a 40km2 aera. These projects are gigantic, and prove to be big headaches for the Chinese. Their lack of experience on this subject is an incredible opportunity for Westerners to benefit from. Because the Chinese will thus need some help. This can happen through partnerships. The CDA (Compagnie des Alpes), a French group, has started a cooperation with the future station of Thaïwoo since 2015 to offer the Chinese a “transfer of experience” in order to advise them how to build the best ski resort.
A market for OEMs
Who says ski area construction says chairlifts, snowguns, ski lifts … all it will take to allow new skiers to slide the slopes. But in the actual situation in China, out of the 200 ski resorts that the country has, only less than 80 have more than four lifts. When we know that the country is aiming to break the 1000 stations mark within 15 years, we can understand the extent of the challenge of this market. The French MND has already concluded a contract to 110 million euros for the development of a future station around Beijing.
A market for sports equipment brands
While China is a very small market for these brands, the trend is expected to reverse. In addition, there are almost no serious competitors on the market! But with the new craze for winter sports, sales promise to take off quickly. Since the Chinese have never had the habit of skiing, they will have to buy a complete equipment for the whole family: skis, snowboards, jackets, pants, shoes, helmets, gloves, sticks… Even if the beginners have more chance to rent those products in the first place, sales of these products are certain to explode in the coming years. It will therefore be necessary to be present at the right place at the right time! For brands, consider offering your products on Chinese e-commerce sites! This will allow you to reach the vast majority of the population without much difficulty. In addition, the Chinese will trust your brand more easily if you are present on these platforms. The two biggest are Tmall and JD.com, which account together for most of the e-commerce traffic in China.
The work formation market
Since the government encourages the Chinese to practice winter sports, a new form of tourism that is still underdeveloped will experience a strong boom in the country: that of winter tourism! While locals usually like to visit the great Chinese monuments, skiing can convince them to go to the mountains. More and more tourists will therefore go to the new ski resorts where everything will be planned for them: luxury boutique, hotels, restaurants, spas …
However the current Chinese stations are still far from Western standards (only 25 out of the 646 ski areas). The others are still rudimentary and far from the demanding expectations of Chinese tourists. Although they have the ability to build a station, they are far from having the knowledge to manage them! This is where the vocational training market will be able to intervene in several areas: the hotel industry, catering, the management of a resort, the teaching of winter sports, etc.
If you need more advice on business in China and digital marketing, do not hesitate to contact our professional agency, Gentlemen Marketing Agency.