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.

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

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)
Jocelyn’s Jottings: Want to make change? Here are some suggestions

As a citizen you have a voice, you just have to know who to talk to

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Most Read