We’re keeping a watchful eye out and an ear to the ground for rising trends in snow sports participation during an Olympic year. The hypothesis that Olympic athletes inspire Canadians to try a new sport during an Olympic year is yet to be tested in Canada, but interestingly, the host country for the 2022 Winter Games, China, has tracked these statistics.
Ten years ago, few in China were familiar with snow sports as a leisure activity. However, in 2015, when Beijing clinched the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Games, the number of ski resorts grew by more than 40% to roughly 800, according to the 2020 China Ski Industry White Book (pdf), while the number of ice rinks tripled to more than 650. By 2020, the winter sports industry was worth 600 billion yuan – that’s more than 120 billion in CAD!
The exponential rise in snow sports participation in China is enviable and has us wondering, what can we learn and how can we apply the same, or similar, sustainable growth to the industry in Canada?