Ski resorts in Zhejiang grow in popularity
It is no longer a novelty to ski in Zhejiang these days as the province is currently home to 16 ski resorts spread across the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Shaoxing, Lishui, Huzhou, Jinhua, and Taizhou, according to the Zhejiang Administration of Sports.
This figure is the highest among all provincial-level regions to the south of the Yangtze River.
The earliest outdoor ski ground in the south of the Yangtze River is the Jiangnan Tianchi Ski Resort, which was founded in Huzhou's Anji county in 2006.
With skiing fast gaining popularity among the general public, ticket prices for Zhejiang-based ski resorts have been falling sharply. "Tourists used to pay 200 yuan ($31.44) for each hour they spent in the resort, but this amount of money now affords them an entire day of skiing," said Wang Anpei, chairman of Jiangnan Tianchi Ski Resort.
Due to growing demand, the resort recently launched night skiing sessions that run from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Wang added.
Over the 2021 winter season, Zhejiang's ski resorts received 1.43 million visits and saw their revenues rise 20.74 percent year-on-year to 230 million yuan.
According to an official from the Department of Economy at the Zhejiang Administration of Sports, the province welcomed two new ski resorts in 2020 and one in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Many ski enthusiasts in Zhejiang who preferred flying to northern China or even abroad to ski before the coronavirus outbreak now ski at sites in the province instead," the official added.
Data from the Tonglu Shengxianli International Ski Resort, which is situated in Hangzhou's Tonglu county, shows that around 20 percent of the skiers there wear their own outfits instead of those offered by the resort. According to the resort, this trend shows that Zhejiang skiers are becoming more discerning and demanding of professional quality attire. Such skiers were a rare sight just a couple of years ago.
It is widely believed that Zhejiang's ski resorts will see even greater demand following the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games this month.
Skiers at Tonglu Shengxianli International Ski Resort during the three-day New Year holiday in January. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
February 8, 2022