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Making the most of China's increasing outbound travelers

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-05 08:00

Canada's diverse tourism resources, such as national parks, cultural heritage, wildlife and ski resorts, are attracting a growing number of Chinese tourists.

Official data show that more than 610,000 Chinese visitors traveled to Canada in 2016, with a year-on-year increase of 24 percent. China is Canada's third-largest market in terms of tourist arrivals.

With strong economic growth, a rapidly expanding middle-class and improving air transport networks, projected visitor growth for 2017 stands at 23 percent, according to Destination Canada, which promotes the country's tourism offerings internationally.

Canada has opened seven new visa application centers in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan this year, targeting second-tier Chinese cities for growth. These offices will make it easier for Chinese tourists to choose Canada as their holiday destination.

Since 2015, UnionPay has been a strategic partner of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to help tourism operators prepare for more Chinese visitors. In 2018, the acceptance of UnionPay will be further introduced.

More and more Canadian destinations are working hard to strengthen cooperation with Chinese tourism operators and travel agencies to offer in-depth travel experiences.

In early 2017, Air Canada opened the first flight linking Shanghai and Montreal, Quebec province. Chinese visitors can also fly directly from Beijing to Montreal.

As Canada's second-largest province by area, Quebec is attracting more Chinese tourists due to its blending of French heritage and North American culture. It is the only province in Canada that has French as the sole official language.

It is relaxing to take a day trip on a cruise to explore the beautiful St. Lawrence River, which is home to marine mammals such as humpback whales, dolphins and seals. The best time to observe the 13 species of whales there is from May to October.

Destination British Columbia recently launched its One Thousand Chinese Celebrating Chinese New Year in Vancouver BC initiative. It aims to satisfy the increasing demand from Chinese tourists looking to spend Chinese New Year abroad with their family.

During Spring Festival, more than 1,000 Chinese tourists will be able to enjoy specially tailored one- and two-week tours to enjoy British Columbia's natural beauty, delicious food, and Chinese and Western cultures, as organized by the province's partner travel agencies.

They will also be able to watch the Chinese New Year parade, traditional Chinese lion dances and a temple fair in Vancouver. In Richmond, there are live shows and countdown night celebrations for Spring Festival.

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