“Why are you going to China” asked the customs agent…”to ski,” I said. His brows furrowed as he looked at me in disbelief. My heart rate increased out of fear that I was going to get in trouble…and end up being strip searched. ”Why would you leave Denver where there is some of the best skiing to go to China. I didn’t even know you could ski in China” he said. “Well Pete (he was wearing a name tag that said Peter but I felt as though we had bonded enough to get informal) to see how we can help,” I said. I then explained to him what PSIA was and how the ski industry was rapidly growing in China due to the 2022 Beijing Olympics with an expectation of over 300 million skier visits in the next 6 years. I went on to tell him all about how they had limited trained ski and ride instructors and no formal teaching system of their own, which poses a problem to all those potential skier visits. As I rambled for a solid five minutes, Pete shaking his head all the while, he finally smiled and said “cool” and with a bang, bang, bang of his stamp, he dismissed me.
Seven days later, four ski resorts later, many meetings later and two day management training by yours truly… “Why were you in China,” asked the customs agent in Chicago. “To ski, I answered, “Really? I didn’t know you could ski in China,” said Bob (aka Robert). “How was it?” “Good” I said,” I learned a lot”. “Did you take some lessons there?”, “In a way” I said with a smile. BANG, BANG, BANG went the stamp and I was dismissed.
For two years some RM Examiners have contracted with China to work with a large ski school there to do Level 1 certifications for both Alpine and Snowboard, CS1 and Level 2 preps. The participants, like you, joined our division and ASEA. While there, our pros witnessed many other countries doing the same. Unfortunately, due to the language barrier, we can only certify them as Level 1 with a ski/ride portion of the Level 2. This is unfortunate since the demand for qualified instructors is high as business is booming. So why do we care? It’s simple…if China can serve their guests better, the industry as a whole will benefit. In a way it is an incredible opportunity for the industry all over the world. The resorts in China are relatively small in size and limited in snow fall. So where will the customers go when they want more? HERE, and the Alps and New Zealand. For many of the same reasons PSIA/AASI was formed, we want to help China pros. We strive for consistency in our clients experience and schools look for that in the pros we certify that they hire. The goal would essentially be for those of us with established teaching systems and organizations to help China form their own system, so they can contribute to that consistency. In the meantime we want to help them get there.