Business Snow

Snowmaking system - Business opportunities in the world of global warming

2020-01-05

people take actions to stop global warming since many negative phenomenon showed up such as raising up sea level, wildfire, etc. But for some people, Global warming becomes business opportunities. Snowmaking machine is one of the good example of business that is able to expands more as global warming continue to be on rise.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

  Adaptation strategies of global warming is so important for ski tourism industry. Artificial snow production is key strategy to enhance economic competition and increase requirements of winter tourists.(1)  In Alps, snowmaking facilities are dramatically increased these days.(1) For example, Artificial snow production increased from 10% of covering in the total ski area in 2000 to 36% in 2010 in Switzerland.(1) Artificial snow covering rate reached 62% in Austria. And artificial snow is produced on 100% of the  area in the some area of Italian Alps.(1) As natural snow availability become shorter and shorter, the investment of snow making system become competitive advantage between ski resorts.

Artificial snow covering rate reached 62% in Austria(1). Photo in Kaprun, Austria by Daniel Frank on Unsplash


  In terms of skiing market, although leading markets of ski tourism is matured and demand is declined or stable in many countries such as US, Canada, France, Switzerland, Japan etc, emerging markets such as China and Eastern Europe have high growth rates. (2) Especially growth rate of china is very high as Beijing hosts Winter Olympic Games in 2022. The slogan “300 million people to participate in winter sports” (“3亿人参与冰雪运动”) is being used in China (300 million people is included in those who directly and indirectly participate in Winter Olympic game such as people who buy ticket, related to tourism to the event, and employed in industries connected with winter sports) (3). 


    In 2017, 17.5 million visits to skiing facilities were recorded. (3) The number of visits to skiing facilities increased by 21.4% and high levels of growth has maintained (20.8% in 2016 / 15.9% in 2017) since Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in 2015 (3). Also, China’s regional governments and the State General Administration of Sports (国家体育总局) develops plan to let 300 million people to participate in winter sports by 2025(3). 

Chart 1: Total Visits to Skiing Facilities in China, 2006-2017  (3)
Unit: Million

  It seems that the discussion about climate change is not only going to how to stop it, but also going to how to grabs business opportunities in the world of progressing climate change. Snowmaking system is the typical example of opportunities and for sure, big demand exists.  To think about global warming, this is important point as how systems changes.

Reference:

(1) Rixen, C., Teich, M., Lardelli, C., Gallati, D., Pohl, M., Pütz, M. and Bebi, P. (2011). Winter Tourism and Climate Change in the Alps: An Assessment of Resource Consumption, Snow Reliability, and Future Snowmaking Potential. Mountain Research and Development, 31(3), pp.229-236.
(2) Steiger, R., Scott, D., Abegg, B., Pons, M. and Aall, C. (2017). A critical review of climate change risk for ski tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 22(11), pp.1343-1379.
(3) Gong, J., Simpson, T., Rotheram, B., Di Liello, D., Jazcii, L. and De Paolis, G. (2019). The Market for Winter Sports in China.

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