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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-43
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-43
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Mar 2019

Research article | 15 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Suitability Analysis of Ski Areas in China: An Integrated Study Based on Natural and Socioeconomic Conditions

Jie Deng1,2,5, Tao Che1,2, Cunde Xiao3, Shijin Wang4, Liyun Dai1, and Akynbekkyzy Meerzhan1,5,6 Jie Deng et al.
  • 1Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, China
  • 2Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100000, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100000, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, China
  • 5University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100000, China
  • 6Jiangsu Center of Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing, 210000, China

Abstract. The successful bidding of the 2022 Winter Olympics (Beijing 2022, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games) has greatly stimulated Chinese enthusiasm to participate in winter sports. Consequently, the Chinese ski industry is rapidly booming driven by enormous market demand and government support. However, investing in ski area at an unreasonable location will cause problems both from economic perspective (in terms of operation and management) as well as geographical concerns (such as environmental degradation). To evaluate the suitability of a ski area based on scientific metrics has since become a prerequisite to the sustainable development of ski industry. In this study, we evaluate the locational suitability of ski areas in China by integrating their natural and socioeconomic conditions using linear weighted method based on geographic information systems (GIS) spatial analysis combined with remote sensing, online and field survey data. Key indexes for evaluating the natural suitability include snow cover, air temperature, topographic conditions, groundwater, and vegetation, whereas socioeconomic suitability is evaluated based on economic conditions, accessibility of transportation, distance to tourist attractions, and distance to cities. As such, an integrated metrics considering both natural and socioeconomic suitability is defined to be a threshold and used to identify the suitability of a candidate region for ski area development. The results show that 92 % of existing ski areas are located in areas with an integrated index greater than 0.5. In contrary, a ski area is considered to be a dismal prospect when the locational integrated index is less than 0.5. Finally, corresponding development strategies for decision-makers are proposed based on the multi-criteria metrics, which will be extended to incorporate potential influences from future climate change and socioeconomic development.

Jie Deng et al.
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Short summary
The Chinese ski industry is rapidly booming driven by enormous market demand and government support with the coming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. We evaluate the locational suitability of ski areas in China by integrating the natural and socioeconomic conditions. Corresponding development strategies for decision-makers are proposed based on the multi-criteria metrics, which will be extended to incorporate potential influences from future climate change and socioeconomic development.
The Chinese ski industry is rapidly booming driven by enormous market demand and government...
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