Canadian Tourism Big Winners in New Canada-China Trade Relationship
OTTAWA, ON September 1, 2016 - The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is applauding today's announcement by the Government of Canada and the People's Republic of China to increase tourism between our two countries.
TIAC has been a strong voice advocating for Canada to increase the number of Visa Application Centres (VACs) in the lucrative Chinese market--VACs are instrumental in expediting the visa process by ensuring that applications are complete and accurate. To date VACs were limited to major Chinese cities making it more difficult for potential travellers in other cities to apply for visas. Today's announcement to open an additional 7 new centres in key growth markets is great news for continued growth in the Canadian tourism industry.
"We have seen sustained growth out of China since 2010, and the country is set to become our 2nd greatest source of international visitors to Canada", states TIAC President and CEO Charlotte Bell, "Today's announcement to increase VACs, and the designation of 2018 as the year of Canada-China Tourism, will see this trend continue."
With a rapidly growing middle class and a hunger for travel, VACs in more areas of China will make it easier for potential Chinese travellers to make Canada their destination of choice. Entering these new markets will mean more visitors, more spending, and further growth in Chinese visitors. Chinese visitation to Canada is up 23% in the first 6 months of this year, and an astounding 45% jump in June numbers over 2015.
"China is a very important market because they tend to spend more and stay longer in Canada than almost any other international traveller, " Bell added. "According to our most recent report with Visa Canada, Chinese travellers spent $372 million dollars on travel in the summer of 2015 - 10.4% of overall inbound volume."
"I want to thank ministers McCallum and Chagger for their efforts that lead to today's announcements. TIAC looks forward to our continued collaboration to improve Canada's competitiveness as a global travel destination and to increase the economic benefits for those who make a living from the travel and tourism industry" Bell concluded.
In 2010, Canada was granted the coveted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by the Chinese government, with TIAC serving as administrator of the ADS program. This year, TIAC revamped this program to not only monitor designated tour operators, but to also help the tourism industry become "china ready" to meet the unique needs and desires of Chinese travellers. As a part of this agenda, TIAC will lead a trade mission to China this fall with 12 Canadian tourism businesses with a goal to better understand the Chinese market and seek opportunities to showcase Canada's tourism product in these new markets.
Canada's tourism industry is a $90-billion-dollar sector, with 1.6 million Canadian jobs dependent on economic activity generated by travel and tourism.
For more information please contact:
Vice President, Public and Industry Affairs
Tourism Industry Association of Canada