Our research

Snapshot of CK Ski’s Asian snowsports market research, 2013


CK Ski conducted research in early 2013 into the Chinese and Hong Kong ski markets. Here is a snapshot of our findings, indicating opportunities for businesses to target key affluent Asian hubs including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Beijing.

The market is growing…

  • The Chinese ski industry has grown rapidly – approximately 10,000 skiers in 1996 to 5 million in 2010

(Canadian Tourism commissioned ‘China Ski Study’ 2012)

  • China has overtaken Germany and the US to become the leading outbound tourism market with an estimated 83 million overseas trips made by Chinese citizens

(Want China Times, China is the world’s largest outbound market, April 2013)

  • Switzerland Tourism has been marketing its brand heavily in Asia in recent years. It believes Chinese tourist figures could rise from 400,000 a year to 2 million by 2020

(Swiss Info, Swiss Tourism – a tale of two markets, Feb 2012)

  • Switzerland has been adapting their offering to Chinese tourists. They have seen a decrease in the number of tourists from other countries, apart from China

(Marketing to China, How Switzerland attracted tourists from China, May 2013) 

Affluent Chinese

  • The number of Chinese high net worth individuals (individuals with at least 10 million RMB, approximately $1.6 million) in investable assets—grew to more than 700,000 at the end of 2012, more than doubling since the end of 2008


  • This is on target to increase an additional 2% in 2013 to approximately 840,000

(China Private Wealth Report 2013, Bain & Company)


Our Hong Kong market research


Hong Kong HarbourCK Ski’s research analysed the micro and macro environment of the expat and local snowsports enthusiast in Hong Kong.

Our online research showed that Japan is the most popular destination for ski enthusiasts (33%), with over 50% specifically mentioning Niseko as the number one ski resort. This is not surprising considering Japan’s proximity to Hong Kong.

Europe came in second place (16%) and resort proximity to the airport has an impact on destination choice. South Korea (14%) and Canada (10%) were closely followed, with Whistler standing out as the destination of choice.

Booking with a ski specialist operator in Hong Kong is sought after as 58% say they would book with a ski specialist and of the 48% who answered ‘Maybe,’ they would consider it as long as there was no extra cost involved. 0% said no.


The Hong Kong snowsports customer


Local market (English-speaking Chinese):
  • Demographics: aged between 30-50 (34-44 is growing rapidly due to rising influence of young business executives). High earners, money is not an issue
  • Behavioural: Fairly active, family activity, hand in hand with shopping, dining and sightseeing. Time poor.
  • Where do they want to travel: Japan, Europe, Canada, USA and Australia
Expat market:
  • Demographics: aged between 25-45, the majority without children, living in Central, Sheung Wan and affluent areas
  • Behavioural: Active, sociable, want to travel but time poor
  • Where do they want to travel and ski: Japan, Europe, S. Korea and Canada
  • What do they look for in a resort: Lifts  close to accommodation (17%), Good nightlife and fun après-ski (16%), Powder, and lots of it (12%)
  • When do you book your snowsports holiday: 2-3 months in advance (49%), 4-5 months in advance (15%)

CK Ski found that English-speaking Chinese in Hong Kong and mainland China consider destinations that provide a ‘traditional cultural’ experience. Money is no object and they will choose the easiest, quickest route of getting to their destination. They are interested in incorporating a city break on either side of their holiday, depending on the holiday type.

CK Ski noticed an increase in the amount of resorts seeking staff that can speak Mandarin, Cantonese and other Asian languages.

Expat ski enthusiasts in key expat cities including Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are keen to travel throughout Asia and make the most of their time living here. However a large group are incredibly keen skiers who commit to an annual ski break, potentially tying in with visiting family and friends in Europe or Northern America.

CK Ski conducts market research on behalf of our clients. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

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