Baishan city in northeast China’s Jilin province, depending on its unique snow and ice resources, aims to become a global high-end snow-ice tourism destination by building a world-class ski resort complex.
Located between 41 to 42 degrees north latitude, a recognized golden tourism belt, in the heartland of the famous Changbai Mountains, Baishan city is China’s first full-range forest tourism area, with a forest coverage rate of up to 84.1 percent. Thanks to the northern temperate continental monsoon climate, it has a frost-free period of just 90 to 120 days and an average annual snowfall of 400 millimeters. The long winter and abundant high-quality snow have given the city first-rate skiing conditions comparable with that of the Alps.
Changbai Mountains are home to numerous starred hotels and professional skiing facilities. Currently, two world-class ski resorts are growing into industry clusters with their respective major hotels. The 23-billion-yuan Changbai Mountains International Holiday Resort has received one million skiing tourists since 2012, with biggest daily reception exceeding 6,000 people. Changbaishan Luneng Resort, with an investment of 11.2 billion yuan, received 30,000 tourists during the first snow season after its opening in December 2016. This year, Baishan city government has invested over 60 billion yuan in 44 tourist projects, 15 of which over one billion yuan.
In addition to snow and ice, Baishan also features hot springs, rime, border tourism and unique folk customs. Water quality of its hot springs is far above world health standards. Lushui River National Forest Park, Songling snow village in Linjiang and Jinjiang log cabin village also woo global tourists with unique regional and traditional cultures, cuisines, activities such as drifting, hunting and other winter entertainment.
Based on snow-ice tourism, sports and culture, Baishan city government plans to increase its number of ski resorts to more than 20, and to build one snow pack with over 100-hectare in area, one indoor skating center, about 50 outdoor skating rinks of various levels, 12 snow-ice tourist towns and 10 featured tourism villages with over 50,000 beds, in the next three years. It aims to attract three million tourists every year.
The city also actively promotes transportation infrastructure construction involving five expressways, two high-speed rail lines and three airports. The Changbaishan International Airport, since its opening in 2008, has launched air routes with over 20 cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Construction on Changbai city airport has also begun. Two of the three expressways have entered operation. High-speed rail trains are expected to enter service in 2021.