SHANGHAI, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Wintastar Shanghai, an integrated sports-entertainment-tourism resort broke ground Thursday, showing the increasing popularity of ice and snow tourism among the warm south of China.
The multi-billion yuan project will be jointly invested and developed by Shanghai Lujiazui Development (Group) Company Limited, Shanghai Harbour City Development (Group) Co., Ltd. and Wintastar Holdings, a subsidiary of KOP Limited (Singapore). The project will be designed by an award-winning Italian architect.
The new resort will be located in Shanghai's Pudong district. With an area of 227,000 square meters, it will contain a 90,000-square-meter indoor ski & snow theme park and over 25 snow programs.
The resort is expected to open in 2022. It is estimated that it will attract 3.2 million visitors annually, mainly from China's Yangtze River Delta.
Majid Al Futtaim, the UAE-based conglomerate behind the iconic Ski Dubai is expected to make their first foray into China as the operator of the indoor ski park.
"We have high expectations of China's winter sports and tourism market, especially as more and more Chinese visit the UAE and Ski Dubai," said Mohammad El Etri, director of Global Snow Operations and Projects of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.
According to the China Tourism Academy, China's snow tourism market will have 340 million visitors and the revenue is expected top 670 billion yuan (98.4 billion U.S. dollars) in two years.
Ong Chih Ching, executive chairman and executive director of KOP Limited said that China's snow tourism industry will boom with Chinese consumers yearning for travel and leisure, and the boost of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.