French ski resort firm Montagne & Neige Developpement (MND) more than doubled in value after winning a 110-million-euro (USD 117 million) contract to develop a new site in China that has ambitions to host 2022 Winter Olympics events.
The Chinese site, called Snowland, is 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Beijing. With a snow season lasting 150 days, it’s expanding as a tourist and leisure destination and plans to participate in the tender to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
MND formed joint venture MND Zhangjiakou Mountain Development with state-owned China Coal Zhangjiakou Coal Mining Machinery to design equipment for the Snowland ski resort north-west of Beijing. The partnership also has a contract from the Wanlong resort near Beijing, according to a Reuters report.
The company said the three-year order is a “game-changer” for its operations in France and China that will boost the number of employees to more than 500 from 350 now.
Another French ski resort company Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) has expanded its partnership with China's Thaiwoo Ski Resort, under which the company's staff will help to run the operation on an almost permanent basis.
CDA estimated China has between five and six million skiers. This is expected to grow rapidly ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, providing an opportunity for European ski operators looking to expand.
Chinese groups also have investments in French tourism operators.
Club Med, which was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Fosun in 2015, has two ski resorts in China. CDA has also been in discussions regarding the sale of a stake to Fosun, reported Reuters.
Pierre et Vacances has formed a joint venture with HNA Tourism Group to launch its Center Parcs brand in China. HNA Tourism picked up a 10% stake in Pierre et Vacances in November 2015.
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