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Companies optimistic on China mission

By Na Li in Toronto | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-06-21 15:02

Representatives of more than 25 tourism businesses and associations from across Canada are headed on a trade mission to China.

As the Canada-China Year of Tourism (CCYT) enters the peak season, Canada's tourism industry is preparing to welcome a record number of Chinese visitors, which is hoped will lead to good middle-class jobs for Canadians and spur economic growth.

Canada Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger announced last weekend that she will lead a delegation to China of more than two dozen Canadian tourism companies, along with provincial and territorial ministers and officials from June 23 to 28.

"As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism, I am honoured to lead this delegation of Canadian tourism industry leaders to China," Chagger said in a statement.

China is Canada's second-largest overseas source market for tourists and growing. The Canadian government understands the economic opportunity that China represents for the more than 200,000 small businesses in the industry and the close to 1.8 million Canadians whose jobs are supported by tourism, Chagger said.

Tourism is the top employer of Canada's youth and makes up 2 percent of the nation's GDP. Tourism is also Canada's largest services export.

"We are committed to building on this momentum. Our goal is to double the number of Chinese visitors coming to Canada by 2021, and the relationships we build on this trade mission will strengthen our business-to-business connections in this key market," Chagger said.

The trip will bring together tourism industry businesses and stakeholders, with a focus on Indigenous tourism, rural and remote destinations, culinary tourism and winter sports tourism.

The delegation comprises tourism industry leaders from across Canada, including Parks Canada, Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

"I encourage all Chinese tourists to experience the outdoors and learn about Canada's heritage by visiting our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas during the Canada-China Year of Tourism," said Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change and minister responsible for Parks Canada.

David F. Goldstein, president and CEO of Destination Canada, said there is unprecedented momentum in the Chinese market, and his company is working with provincial and territorial partners and tourism businesses to seize the opportunity.

"This trade mission is great exposure," he said.

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