Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

Updated: 2014-11-10 09:52

By Zhang Yu(China Daily)

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Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

Hiking and camping are very popular for tourists to Zhangjiakou. Yang Yueluan / for China Daily

Flourishing ski industry

Even as late as the 1990s, Chongli was a poor county. The per capita annual income of local farmers was less than 1,000 yuan.

However, the flourishing of the skiing industry has enabled the county to prosper.

In 2013, the per capita annual income of farmers in Chongli was up to 6,071 yuan. Statistics show that nearly 20,000 residents, one-sixth of the total population in the county, are engaged in skiing-related industries.

"I have worked in this county for 11 years. In the past decade, I have witnessed great changes here." said Wei Qinghua, a senior consultant about skiing from Zhangjiakou Operation, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee.

According to Wei, residents in Zhangjiakou used to stay in their homes during winter. But now most of them don't do that anymore.

Many have become ski instructors in the city's different skiing resorts. For some, their income can be more than 40,000 yuan for instructing in a winter.

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

An aerial view of Zhangjiakou at night. Han Jianfeng / for China Daily

Now the county is hailed as one of the best places in China for developing ski tourism.

According to experts from the State General Administration of Sports and the Chinese Ski Association, more than 600 square kilometers in Chongli county are available for developing ski tourism and ski racing.

And more than 10 sites are suitable for building ski resorts.

In 2013, the revenue from tourism in Chongli county reached 1.1 billion yuan, an increase of 31.4 percent year-on-year.

Work began this year on an express railway linking the city with Beijing, which will shorten the journey time from 5 hours to 50 minutes. This will boost the attraction of Zhangjiakou as a tourist destination.

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