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Club Med and Tripadvisor Launch First Insight into Chinese Snow Sport Travel Sector with Debut Ski Insights Survey



Beijing, China (September 8, 2017) – Club Med and TripAdvisor are excited to announce the findings of the Chinese Ski Insights Survey, the first in-depth study of winter sports habits among Chinese guests. Announced at the World Winter Sports Expo WWSE2017 in Beijing today, the groundbreaking survey was conducted by global ski travel leader Club Med in collaboration with leading online travel resource TripAdvisor, one of the world’s leading hotel booking and travel review websites. 


The first China Ski Insights Survey is the first in-depth analysis of the China market’s 9-9perception and experience of ski and snowboard travel, and their view on snow holidays in general. Conducted by Club Med and TripAdvisor, the two global industry leaders decided to learn more about this booming sector so gathered answers from more than 3,000 people. The resulting survey report captures the trends, shifts and insights of the rapidly growing sector with the aim of providing an annual reference for the travel industry, nurturing the ski travel conversation in China and building a better knowledge of client insights. 


The 2017 Chinese Ski Insights Survey found that almost two thirds of respondents (62 per cent) had skied previously and that 60 per cent of those surveyed indicated that will definitely do so again in the next three years. Of those surveyed, Club Med and TripAdvisor found that 37 per cent of Chinese skiers had travelled to another city to participate in ski and 18 per cent had ventured overseas to do so – with Japan, South Korea and Switzerland the top destinations for travel. 


Ski travellers tend to stay at least one night at the resort, with 55 per cent of respondents indicating that this was the case for their most recent ski or snowboard experience, while those who travel with children are even more likely to stay one night or more (68 per cent of respondents). The average spend of those guests during their stay is an area of potential growth – 23 per cent currently spend ¥2,000-5,000, 10 per cent spend ¥5,000-10,000 and 6 per cent spend more than ¥10,000 per person per trip. According to the survey, Chinese travellers do not tend to travel alone. Those surveyed said that in their most recent ski experience they went with friends (43 per cent), with their spouse and children (20 per cent) or with a partner (16 per cent). 


Chinese travellers suggested that their primary concerns when choosing a destination for their ski holiday are safety (43 per cent), the modernity and ease of use of the facilities (41 per cent) and the accessibility of the location (40 per cent). When it comes to deciding upon a resort, the factors that matter to China’s skiers are the immediate accessibility to slopes (50 per cent), the resort’s reputation in reviews on TripAdvisor and similar sites (46 per cent) and services offered within the resort (43 per cent).  Those surveyed said that price is not as important a concern to them, with only 34 per cent indicating it as a factor when making their resort choice. 


The survey also found that Chinese ski travellers purchase their ski and snowboard holidays in different ways dependent on their previous experience. Less experienced skiers – those who have only been once or twice before – prefer to book experiences via online travel agents while frequent skiers, those who have been three or more times, will book directly with the resort


Respondents also gave an insight into what Chinese skiers and snowboarders feel is important while they are on the slopes. Most (83%) said that they care about how they look when partaking in snow sports and gave clear indications of what they find important areas to improve on-slope style: Ski suits and ski gloves (80%), sunglasses/ski goggles (68%), ski and snowboard boots (44%). 


Ski and snowboard holidaying is currently a niche market in comparison to the country’s population and their increasing demand for vacations. However, growth among skiers and snowboarders has increased rapidly over the last few years, as have the number of purpose-built resorts in China. This trend is expected to be amplified with the build-up to and execution of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 


Club Med currently operates two resorts in China at Yabuli in Heilongjiang province and Beidahu in Jilin province, the site of the 2007 Winter Asian Games. The Beidahu Club Med location’s first season witnessed an impressive 81 per cent occupancy rate. These are in addition to Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido in Japan and the French resorts of Club Med Les Deux Alpe, Club Med Meribel L’AntaresClub Med Valmorel, Club Med Val Thorens Sensations and Club Med Pragelato Vialattea in Italy. As part of Club Med’s desire to become the leading brand hotel for snow mountain resort and premium all-inclusive ski holiday travel, it will launch three more resorts in the coming year: Grand Massif Samoëns-Morillon in the French Alps and Tomamu in Japan open this December and Arc 1600 in France will be ready for the winter 2018 season. 


Club Med’s existing resorts have won a number of TripAdvisor honours in the 2017 Traveller’s Choice and 2017 Excellence Choice awards. Figures from TripAdvisor also indicate that ski travel is an area of great potential – there has been a growth in guest numbers based on the exponential increase in user reviews from 2015 to 2016 and a general increase in the ratings given by those users. 


Club Med built its first snow resort in Switzerland 60 years ago and has been offering unique snow holidays ever since. To meet the longstanding demand for snow holidays in Europe and the increasing popularity of winter sports globally, through such events as the Winter Olympics, Club Med’s footprint in snow resorts has expand to 22 destinations around the world. Through its all-inclusive holiday philosophy with a French touch, along with the global Gentils Organisateurs team and international ski instructors, Club Med is creating unforgettable snow holidays for travelers of all kinds.