Italian brands target Chinese sports and leisure market
From cableway and trail maintenance to ski gear and ski wear, Italian brands are eyeing China's booming winter sports and leisure market.
Approximately 40 Italian winter sports and leisure brands displayed their products at the ISPO Beijing, a major sports and fashion expo, in late January.
The four-day expo brought together more than 460 exhibitors from more than 20 countries and regions.
Speaking about the expo, the Italian ambassador to China Ettore Francesco Sequi, says: "In the field of winter sports, Italy has a long tradition in hiking and extraordinary technology and innovation ability."
"And most of our enterprises have successfully made inroads into the Chinese market."
For the near future, he expects China to continue increasing investment in infrastructure and services as the country prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The winter games is expected to give rise to 340 million visits by Chinese travelers, according to a report by the China Tourism Academy.
So, the country would need to encourage the development of more winter products and services to satisfy the increasing public demand for winter activities, according to the General Administration of Sport.
The Italians, meanwhile, are planning to ride the wave in China and work to promote their businesses.
Last year, Italian exports to China grew 22 percent as compared with the previous year, says Amedeo Scarpa, the trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Agency's Beijing office.
"The sports equipment business grew more than 11 percent, while the sportswear and shoes sector registered an incredible 65 percent growth," says Scarpa.
"Most of the Italian brands showcased (at the expo) already have an importer or distributor in China, and so they're immediately available to Chinese consumers".
Most of them are faring well in China, says Scarpa.
Explaining the success of Italian products in China, Scarpa says Chinese consumers are getting increasingly sophisticated and more are enjoying life, which is in keeping with the Italian lifestyle.
Meanwhile, the Italian side is expecting the growth of trade to continue, as Chinese consumers pay more attention to wellness and fitness.
Italy is also looking forward to working with China for the Winter Olympics.