Club Med Partnership with Global Winter Sports Tuition Leader Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF, French Ski School) at Beijing Star Mountain Ski Resort Celebrated at Grand Opening Event Today

Mr. Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med (2nd L)
Miss. Yehong Tang, Deputy director of Mass Ski Division of Winter Sports Administration Center of China General Administration of Sport (3rd L)
Mr. Eric Breche, President of ESF (4th L)
Mr. Gino Andreetta, CEO of Club Med Greater China (2nd R)
Mr. Gang Han, Vice president of China Chengxin Investment group company limited (3rd R)
Mr. Chenguang Liu, Secretary of the CPC Committee, People's Government of Zhang Town (4th R)

Beijing, China – 15 January 2019 – Club Med today (Jan 15) celebrated the grand opening of a premium skiing and snowboarding school powered by Club Med and the world-leader Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF, French Ski School) at Beijing Star Mountain Ski Resort.

Henri Giscard d’Estaing, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Club Med, Eric Breche, President of ESF and Miss Yehong Tang, Deputy Director of Mass Ski Division of Winter Sports Administrative Center, were on site for the important occasion, invited by Mr. Gang Han (Vice President of China Chengxin Investment Group, owner of Star Mountain).

Leading up Beijing’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Liu Peng, president of the Chinese Olympic Committee has projected that China will have 300 million Winter Sports Enthusiasts by the time of the Olympics. In order to support this government objective, there is a high demand for quality winter sports facilities and instruction in China.

Currently, less than half of ski instructors in China have GASC certification. The top reasons in China that deter prospective new skiers are the perception that it’s too dangerous and facilities are not convenient enough. In fact, only 20% of first time skiers in China end up trying again.

In developing the China Ski Academy Powered by Club Med and Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF), these factors were taken into account to create an exciting and safe experience for new Winter Sports enthusiast. 100% of the ski instructors on site follow a strict training with ESF instructors in season opening, an on-going training during the ski season with a permanent ESF instructor on site, and for the most successful ones, get a “China Ski Academy” certification at the season end, exemplifying the superior quality of ski instruction the new Ski Academy brings to Beijing.

The opening of this new Ski Academy in collaboration between Club Med and ESF in China hopes to tap into the evolving demands of Chinese travelers for a high-quality winter sports experience and provide a superior experience for prospective new skiers that will create a love for the sport.

As a renowned global leader in Winter Sports tuition, ESF has 73 years of experience across 230 ski schools in France, ESF has developed and perfected its own advanced teaching method with special considerations for young skiers. ESF teaching methods have been adapted to the China market and will be delivered by experienced Chinese instructors who have undergone extensive training with ESF, ensuring fun, productive and safe ski lessons for all participants willing to learn.

ESF’s 17,000 instructors already train upwards of 2.5 million skiers annually. As the first Ski Academy powered by Club Med and ESF in China, the new venture now promises to take ski and snowboarding instruction in Beijing to a world-class level.

The new opening answers to a high demand in China for Winter Sports facilities. More than 700 ski resorts have opened across the country as Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Bookings at Club Med’s two ski resorts in Beidahu and Yabuli alone have more than doubled in just two years – from 11,000 in 2016 to 24,000 this year.

“Club Med’s partnership with ESF marks a pivotal moment in the development of China’s winter sports market”, said Club Med Greater China CEO Gino Andreetta on the occasion of the event. “ESF’s advanced training will attract more and more of China’s sophisticated young travellers to Club Med in China to seek out very best instructors and facilities.”

The Star Mountain Ski Academy powered by Club Med and ESF along with a sister academy at Daikini ski resort in Chongqing will both offer the high-quality instruction developed by Club Med and ESF to cater to all ages and ability levels; from beginner to expert, in ski or snowboard. The collaboration model has the Ski Academy operated by the Beijing Star Mountain Ski Resort with a Club Med-ESF trainer permanently based on-site to work side-by-side with the Ski Academy Director and professional instructors. The training of instructors continues throughout the winter ski season for continuous improvement. High quality equipment at the Academy is supported by Decathlon.

Ski instruction for youth begins as young as three-years old. “Club Piou-Piou” is designed as a fun and protected experience for 3-5 year-olds. “Club Stars” has several levels for 6-14 year olds to develop their skills, and Adult courses are available for all levels and with a multitude of terrain and technique options. To encourage enjoyment among novice Chinese skiers, the academy bases training on three guiding principles: safety, excellence and fun.

“Skiing is becoming more popular in China as the Olympic Games come up, with adventurous young millennials at the forefront,” said Star Mountain Ski Resort owner and general manager Mr. Gang Han. “With this surging popularity there is a need for top training and the arrival of ESF at Club Med Ski Academy will significantly raise standards to a more professional and sophisticated level for skiers to acquire good habits that guarantee safer and more responsible skiing.”

Moving forward, Club Med and ESF seek to expand instruction across China and welcome enquiries from interested ski resorts for the coming winter season.

Club Med’s luxury all-inclusive holidays are completely hassle-free and offer a unique winter holiday experience for all the family, promising thrilling sports and outstanding snowy scenery.