China is where it’s at!

At World Winter Sports Expo 2017 in Beijing, Tania Alliod, BASI’s Partner Programme Manager, had an opportunity to catch up with Peter Tupper who runs Imagine – an adventure company in China. Peter has been employing BASI Members in China for the last couple of years and he is looking for more BASI Members interested in making a career in Asia.

BASI would like to thank Heathrow Airport for the “World of Opportunity” SME award that has helped BASI attend the World Winter Sports Expo 2017 in Beijing. BASI’s objective here is to raise the profile of the BASI snowsports instructor qualification and course programme in China and develop working opportunities with China’s developing snowsports industry.

Some of Imagine’s instructors (half of which are BASI) at a future host site of the 2022 Winter Olympics, near Beijing.
Some of Imagine’s instructors (half of which are BASI) at a future host site of the 2022 Winter Olympics, near Beijing.

As many of the world’s ski industries struggle with saturation, competition and slowing economies, one country is heading in the opposite direction, fast.

In less than 20 years, China has gone from having almost zero commercial ski operations, to over 400 resorts, and this is still the beginning. Fuelled by more new millionaires than the entire population of many skiing countries, together with the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on the horizon, it’s go time. The country’s largest property developers are pouring money into massive 5 star resorts in every corner, the government is building high speed train lines to the slopes, even adding skiing to the compulsory curriculum in certain schools. When China sets its eyes on something, it doesn’t hold back.

To miss out on this exciting moment in ski history would be a shame. And one friendly British company is happy to extend a welcoming hand to any BASI instructors wishing to explore it. British instructor and Chinese-speaker, Peter Tupper spotted the trend back in 2011, and eventually set up an outfit called Imagine, that runs a ski school in the winter and other outdoor sport adventures throughout the year. Every season, Imagine brings instructors over from around the world and provides local customers with what they are seeking – a safe, professional instructing service, in English.

What Imagine offers instructors is quite unique. You will not be stuck in one place the entire time, but rather will be based in Beijing city, going out on excursions with clients to many different ski resorts, near and far, even sometimes flying to Japan for a week. When not skiing, you are able to settle into the full social scene of a bustling city of 22 million. And it’s not only for a few months. This is a year-round position, with roles in the office and instructing all kinds of summer sports. You even receive survival instructor training and go out to forests, rivers, lakes and trampoline parks. One thing’s for sure, you can never get bored with this lifestyle.

Image offer job opportunities year round, not just in witner
Image offer job opportunities year round, not just in witner

What really sells it for many instructors is that this gives you a chance to keep open a ‘serious’ career path, not only to have back-to-back instructing seasons to show in a few years’ time. You’ll be holding onto your true passion outdoors half the time, while really developing skills and experience in project management, people management, marketing or other suitable business roles the rest of the time, and this part is often tailored to individual interests and ambitions. You can even save a substantial amount, as accommodation is provided, promotions and pay rises come quick for those staying on to take the move seriously, and living costs are cheap.

What we love is that Peter told us that of all the instructors he has hired from all different instructor systems, there’s a consistent high standard among the BASI Members in particular. “Somehow the BASI guys always have a more thorough understanding, more professional approach – it’s a very clear trend”. And that’s the reason he has reached out specifically to the BASI community this time, to target the world’s best. Imagine will soon also be applying for BASI Approved Ski School status.

So, what are you waiting for? With the season just around the corner and a few places left, Imagine are happy to chat with anyone with BASI Level 2 Ski and at least two years since graduation from a bachelor degree, to discover more about this unique career opportunity.