China already has more skiers than any country in the world except the United States and Germany. The Chinese government made an official commitment to introduce 300 million Chinese to skiing and other snow and ice sports by 2022. From virtually nothing just 10 years ago, the number of skiers in China had surged to more than 13 million by 2018.
340M Chinese winter tourists expected by 2022
China will host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and projects the Chinese snow sports business will be worth 1 trillion yuan (US$149 billion) annually by 2025, more than seven times the US$20 billion yearly contribution of snow sports tourism to the US economy.
Last year, 197 million Chinese traveled to winter destinations, pushing revenue up 22 per cent from the year before to US$49 billion, according to a report by Ctrip and the Chinese Tourism Academy. Chinese winter tourists should climb to 340 million by 2022. The fastest growing demographic is the post-90 and post-00 generations.
SnowOnly Managing Director Mark Lightfoot said, “We want this partnership with Juwai.com to make it easier for Chinese to find just the right ski properties, at the right price, and in the right location for their needs. No one could do better than Juwai.com at helping us reach the largest possible audience of Chinese snow property buyers.
“When a seller signs up with SnowOnly, they will have the option to add an additional service which means their property will be promoted on Juwai until it sells. This means the properties will be easily seen by Chinese buyers as they will be on a locally hosted website and therefore will not fall victim to the firewall that blocks sites of non-Chinese origin.
Juwai.com CEO and Director Carrie Law said, “The research shows that about 18 per cent of Chinese skiers have skied overseas. Their top ski destinations are Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland but we expect to see this expand to other well-known ski destinations in France, Austria and Italy. The top destinations for Chinese home buyers are the United States and Australia.
“China is already home to the largest indoor ski resort in the world, bigger than the one in Dubai. In Shanghai, in two years, an even bigger indoor ski resort will open. The government aggressively supports the growth of snow sports and even pushes ski classes in schools. The Beijing Olympics are coming in 2022. The net result of all of this is a greater awareness and demand for skiing vacations overseas. That will directly translate into ski property sales.
“Skiing is new to most Chinese of today, but historians tell us the world’s first skiers were semi-nomadic tribespeople 10,000 years ago in the mountains in what is today China’s remote north and west.
“The main limitation on this market is price, given that it is driven by investors and second-home buyers. That is one reason the partnership with SnowOnly is so valuable to our users. SnowOnly has listings that range in price from millions all the way down to just US$100,000. The least expensive property currently for sale via SnowOnly is an on-the-snow apartment in Hokkaido, Japan.”
Mark Lightfoot, a passionate skier who owned and run a real estate agency for the past 10 years, launched SnowOnly in 2018. SnowOnly.com was born because of a gap in the market. With approximately 5000 ski resorts worldwide, each with many villages making up its boundaries, the ski property market includes a phenomenal amount of properties that only have exposure from local agents or large portals that dilute the listings because they are not ski specific. SnowOnly.com addresses this providing a simple and efficient portal for buyers and an impartial platform for sellers than aims to reduce the ‘on-the-market’ time for ski properties.
Juwai.com is one of the top Chinese international property portals, reaching more than 3.1 million Chinese-speaking monthly users with its 2.8 million listings from 90 countries. The company’s headquarters are in Shanghai and Hong Kong, with regional teammates located in the U.S., the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia.
Edited by Gordana Davila