|NPC deputies highlight ice and snow economy|
BEIJING — The development of ice and snow sports and relevant industries have become a hot topic among deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, at the ongoing NPC annual session.
China will make the most of the legacy of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to enrich people's intellectual and cultural lives, according to a government work report submitted on March 5 to the national legislature for deliberation.
"The success of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games has turned the cold resources into a 'hot economy' and brought new opportunities. It will boost the development of the winter sports industry," said Sun Zhe, an NPC deputy.
Sun is also the mayor of Harbin, capital city of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, which boasts ice and snow resources and is the hometown of multiple gold medalists at the Olympic Winter Games.
"In the post-Winter Olympics period, Heilongjiang will continue to attach great importance to the development of the winter sports industry," Sun said, adding the province has already rolled out a development plan for the winter sports economy from 2022 to 2030, which will focus on winter sports, culture, equipment and tourism.
"We should take advantage of the Olympic fervor to expand and strengthen the winter sports industry and the related economy, foster new driving forces and create new economic growth points for the revitalization of the country's northeast region," Sun said.
"We believe that winter sports and the winter sports industry of Heilongjiang will become better. And we sincerely welcome people of insight from home and abroad to Heilongjiang to join in the development and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results," Sun added.
China has seen an increasing number of people of all ages participate in winter sports since Beijing and Zhangjiakou won the co-bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in 2015. These sports have promoted the development of the winter sports industry, stimulated the sale of winter sports gear, and created more employment opportunities for people involved in the sector.
China's winter sports sector has attracted an increasing number of enterprises due to its vast potential. More than one-third of the country's 21,500 existing winter sports firms were registered in the past two years.
Investment and financing of ski-related enterprises have exceeded 185 million yuan (about $29 million) since 2021, while the number of new firms in the winter sports tourism sector rose by 15 percent annually in the 2018-2020 period, industry data shows.
"As more people engage in winter sports, they increase the consumption of winter sports equipment. Many winter sports equipment stores have appeared near the venues, meaning that people's demands for winter sports have been met," said Li Zheng, an NPC deputy from the State Grid Tangshan Power Supply Company.
"Tangshan City has been making efforts to push ahead with the winter sports industry and has strived to integrate winter sports and the cultural and tourism industry in recent years," said Yang Zhensheng, an NPC deputy from North China's Hebei province.
"The integrated development of industries including winter sports, tourism, culture and the construction of a beautiful countryside in Tangshan is expected to drive local economic growth," said Yang.
Data released by the China Tourism Academy showed that the number of trips related to winter sports tourism in China is expected to reach 305 million, generating a tourism revenue of about 323.3 billion yuan in the 2021-2022 winter season, and the number of trips will exceed 500 million and the revenue will surpass 1.1 trillion yuan by 2025.
"The country should ensure the continuity of policies supporting the development of winter sports and ice-snow industry, and continue to enhance research and development of technologies related to the industry," said Ding Shizhong, an NPC deputy.
Ding, chairman and CEO of Anta Sports, China's leading sportswear company, also called for cultivating independent brands, supporting the development of industrial clusters for ice and snow sports equipment, and deepening cooperation between universities and enterprises to foster talents for the sector.
Since the passion for winter sports has spread across the country, some provinces in the warm southern region including Sichuan, Hunan and Yunnan have also jumped on the bandwagon and vigorously developed their winter sports industry.
(From: www.gov.cn )