As odd as it may sound, snow is a major factor that affects the tourism industry across the world and hence, the employment of millions. Every year, more than 200 million tourists visit places with snow and ski resorts around the world. Snow fall is not the same everywhere and every year. To compensate for low snow fall and artificial snow is made using snow makers. A snow maker is a system used to produce snow by mixing pressurized water and air forced out with the help of huge fans. Snow making systems use the same principal as natural snow — it requires low temperatures to operate. The traditional type of snow gun produces water droplets by combining cold water with compressed air.
It deploys two hoses – one pumps water from a reservoir and the other pumps high-pressure air from an air compressor. Compressed air is used to atomize water, turning it into tiny droplets, which are forced through cold air to condense them into crystals. The other type of snow guns use only pressurized water and push it through small nozzles, turning it into fine mist, which is then blown out through powerful fans. These systems are more efficient as they do not rely on the compressor for producing snow.
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Since droplets must be in air for around 10 seconds, they must be forced strongly through snow guns or sprayed through snow lances. Snow lances are snow guns generally tower mounted at either 6 meter or 9 meter mast height. This extra height allows increased hand time for droplets. Snow guns are very sensitive to the wind. There are various types of snow making systems available in market.
Snow Making System Market: Dynamics
Snow making systems are majorly used at ski resorts to develop ski-ramps. They are also used in amusement parks and indoor stadiums. Growing snow tourism across the globe has intensified competition among ski-resorts operators, compelling them to improve facilities. Also, resort operators willing to operate throughout the year or for longer durations, i.e. before and after seasons, are installing snow making systems at a faster rate. Similarly, resorts frequently conduct championships and other fests to drag more customers and this is estimated to increase the demand for snow making systems in near future.
Further, the growing number of indoor ski courts and amusement parks across several locations is also considered to be a prime factor fueling market growth. Countries investing significantly on developing winter games infrastructure are also anticipated to create new market opportunities for snow making system manufacturers. Owing to increasing demand from various regions, manufacturers are now focusing on developing technologies that can produce snow at a relatively higher temperatures as compared to the current operating conditions. Also, manufacturers are emphasizing on automation and providing improved HMI systems to operators as an added feature in their products.
On the other side, snow making systems use high power compressors or fans and several other actuators, which require high energy to operate. This means the operator has to spend more on the production of snow. Also, snow making systems are quite expensive and thus, require high initial investment, which is a major restraint for the growth of the snow making systems market.
Snow Making System Market: Segmentation
Snow Making Systems are available with different technologies of operation and in different capacity. Some of the players offer their patented technology in the market, thereby winning high market traction. The global Snow Making System market can be segmented on the basis of operating principle, product type, type of snow produced and application.
In terms of geography, Europe, especially the Alps and Mediterranean regions in Europe, witness the highest amount of snow tourists. The Alps make for 35% of the total ski resorts in the world and attract over 44% of global ski visitors annually. Countries, such as Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland hold a majority stake in the market. In terms of snow tourism, North America precedes Europe. The U.S witnesses highest number of ski visitors, accounting for over 55 million tourists every year.
Canada, on the other hand, accounts for around 18 million visitors and Japan leads the ski tourism market in Asia pacific, accounting for over 35 million visitors every year. It is closely followed by China and Australia. That apart, North Korea is emphasizing on improving its infrastructure as it is going to host Winter Olympics in 2018. Similarly, China is also working on its infrastructure as it is host Winter Olympics in 2022. Both these countries are estimated to create demand in near future.
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Snow Making System Market: Market Participants
The global Snow Making System market is a highly fragmented market as it comprises several small and medium players offering their products in the regional market. Some of the examples of market players identified across the value chain of the Snow Making System market include Snow Machines, Inc., Ratnik Industries Inc., Leitner Group, Focusun Refrigeration (Shanghai) Corporation, HKD Snowmakers, TechnoAlpin AG, Whittier Canada Enterprise Inc. and MND Group, among others.
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