(Yicai Global) March 16 -- China's northern province of Hebei has unveiled plans to build 80 ski resorts and 200 ice rinks as it looks to popularize winter sports in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The local government has issued a document saying all municipalities in the province should build a standard public skating rink, covering 1,830 square meters, and construct temporary venues for other ice and snow sports on public sports grounds, community squares and schools. Beijing 2022 will take place around the Chinese capital and in Zhangjiakou, Hebei's provincial capital.
The province wants to encourage tourism by creating small towns with ice and snow features that integrate sports, food and entertainment. It also hopes to nurture talent for the Olympics by pushing more than 100 primary and secondary schools to offer winter sports facilities.
Hebei will guide equity funds toward developing ice and snow sport and earmark money for venue construction, the document added. It will also encourage social capital to set up funds, give eligible ice and snow sports equipment makers priority in funding applications and look to run public-private partnerships to make its goals a reality.