TIAC President and CEO Charlotte Bell and TIAC Board Vice-Chair Dave McKenna recently returned from a Federal-Provincial and Territorial tourism trade mission led by the Minister of Small Business and Tourism, the Honourable Bardish Chagger. The mission which included more than 25 tourism business representatives from coast to coast to coast was joined by Canada’s Ambassador to China, John McCallum, three provincial and territorial Ministers as well as Parks Canada CEO, Daniel Watson and Destination Canada President and CEO David Goldstein.
The 7-day mission that included stops in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai provided a tremendous opportunity to market Canada in our second largest inbound destination as we showcased the country’s rich and diverse offerings and highlighted everything from winter sports, indigenous tourism, culinary tourism and unique experiences in Canada’s Parks and remote areas. Canada’s tourism industry representatives had an opportunity to connect with more than 120 Chinese tourism stakeholders through B2B meetings and workshops and participated in a variety of other meetings with Chinese travel agents, tour operators, Government officials, business leaders and Chinese payment giants UnionPay and Alibaba.
As we are now more than midway through the Canada-China Year of Tourism (CCYT), we can see momentum building with China recently becoming Canada’s second largest inbound market. TIAC continues to advocate for progressive public policies to ensure that we meet the New Tourism Vision target of doubling the number of Chinese visitors to Canada by 2021. This means among other things, strengthening and increasing Canada’s financial commitment to market Canada internationally through Destination Canada and improving our visa application process, including the introduction of biometrics in key markets to avoid unintended negative consequences. Now is the time to accelerate positive momentum – it is not the time to take a step back!
"I was honoured to take part in the trade mission to bring the voice of Canadian tourism business directly to key markets in China. During our time in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai, the Canadian tourism industry forged invaluable relationships that will help foster growth for the future. Of special note, a total of seven memoranda of understanding (MOU) and partnership agreements were signed, including a new agreement between TIAC and UnionPay solidifying our existing long-standing relationship for the benefit of TIAC members.”
- Charlotte Bell, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
“As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism, this tourism trade mission to China provided a tremendous opportunity to open new markets and to develop and build on existing relationships for our federal, provincial and territorial partners and tourism businesses. By strengthening our business-to-business connections in this key market, we continue to work towards our government’s goal of doubling two-way trade by 2025.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism