Jilin enjoys snow business

Updated: Dec 7, 2023 By Liu Mingtai and Zhou Huiying China Daily Global Print
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A ski coach gives lesson to tourists at the Songhua Resort. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Currently there are 75 ski resorts and 319 slopes in the province, which are capable of receiving up to 120,000 people a day, making Jilin the country's ski hub, according to the provincial culture and tourism department.

During the last ski season, from November 2022 and March of this year, the province received 56.7 million domestic tourists and made revenues of 100.8 billion yuan. Its 26 key winter tourism businesses received 11.78 million people.

Jilin has the largest ski resorts in China, including Lake Songhua, Beidahu and Wanda White Mountain, and also has foreign instructors teaching skiing and snowboarding.

"To become an international ski resort and attract more visitors from around the world, we began to introduce foreign instructors in 2016," says Li Ji, head of the ski training department at the Beidahu Ski Resort. "Some have been hired from Club Med resorts elsewhere in the world, including France, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom, and others have been hired directly by the resort."

For this year's season, the resort has expanded to 64 slopes and now covers 240 hectares.

"The international instructors have seen the rapid development of winter sports in China since the 2008 Olympics. We offer good living conditions in the largest ski resort in the country, which they appreciate," he adds.

Max Blouin has begun his fourth winter in Beidahu and has seen great changes to the resort in recent years.

"I was a senior ski instructor in Canada and was employed to teach snowboarding at Beidahu in 2020," he says. "Jilin's ski resorts are developing rapidly, such as the introduction of new snow making equipment and the expansion of the number of slopes, as well as the scale of the hotels.

"China has a large population and more people are interested in skiing," he says. "I believe that China's winter sports sector has very good prospects for development, and that's the reason I'm here."

Blouin adds that he also likes Chinese culture and studied Chinese in Shanghai, and that he hopes to use his experience to help improve the skills of Chinese ski instructors.

Meanwhile, tourist offerings featuring ethnic cultural experiences are maintaining the province's attraction during the summer.

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