Selkirk College formalizes cooperation with leader in Chinese ski resort industry

Selkirk College formalized its relationship with AXIS Leisure Management Ltd, a leader in China’s on-the-verge ski resort industry

World Snow Sports Expo in China last fall.

NELSON – Selkirk College has formalized its relationship with AXIS Leisure Management Ltd, a leader in China’s on-the-verge ski resort industry, strengthening its role as a player in the vast opportunity existing in the changing country.

This Memorandum of Understanding confirms ongoing cooperation between Selkirk College Ski Resort Operations & Management (SROAM) Program and Axis, a Beijing group specializing in leisure resort project development from concept to completion founded by Justin Downes, a leader in the Canadian industry who is now working on developing the ski industry in China.

“It’s very encouraging to have a formal agreement signed with Axis and Selkirk College,” says Bob Falle, School Chair of Hospitality & Tourism. “Networking with Justin has been valuable for us as we make connections in the up-and-coming Chinese ski industry. It’s the fastest growing mountain resort industry in the world and the resorts are in need of training and ski industry expertise. We want to share what we know with the Chinese ski industry.”

Winter sports are emerging in China – rapidly – but they are still at the beginning stages of development. Selkirk College is collaborating with mountain resort industry to provide expertise and cooperate on programs and projects while securing opportunities for SROAM students, faculty and alumni. Falle’s first contact was made with Downes seven years ago and that year alumnus Doug Sharpe became the first student to start his lasting career in the mountain resort industry in China.

The number of ski resorts in China is growing exponentially from 50 in 2000 to 298 in 2010 and 568 in 2015 according to China Ski Industry White Book, a comprehensive data report published by Chinese industry.

China’s increasingly wealthy middle class is interested in winter sports such as skiing and with that comes vacationing in destination resorts featuring fine food, spa treatments and novelties like virtual reality ski simulators. Leisure time is new to people of China. “The previous generation worked six days a week and they didn’t have a concept of what leisure time was,” says Falle. “The north parts of China experience winter yet only now are people exploring winter sports like hockey or skiing.”

Last October, Falle travelled to China for the first ever World Winter Sports Expo in Beijing put on by the Chinese government. He went with Selkirk College’s Pat Bidart, Instructional Dean of Hospitality & Tourism. Downes encouraged his Canadian colleagues to set up booth at the expo assuring it was a must-attend event.

“The Chinese government has set a goal of getting 300 million more people involved in winter sports in the next five years leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games being held in Beijing and nearby Zhangjiakou,” says Bidart. “While we were at the World Snow Sports Expo, we met with ski resort companies to find out what training they need. We also met with the Tourism Institute of Beijing Union University to explore offering our ski resort program at their ultra-modern state-of-the-art institute.”

This would be a boon for Selkirk College providing opportunities for both faculty and students, explains Bidart who worked in China, among other countries, establishing post-secondary programs in agriculture and business prior to joining Selkirk.

“It’s very exciting for us to be part of what’s happening there,” she says.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Petition calls on referendum for new city hall development in Rossland

The petition sent to the B.C. government has gathered more than 350 signatures

Trail RCMP safely apprehend man experiencing mental health crisis

A number of frontline agencies were involved in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolve

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read