Chinese travel to Canada on the rise

A growing number of Chinese travellers are choosing Canada as their destination in the wake of the new Approved Destination Status agreement, making it Canada’s fastest growing inbound travel market. New Statistics Canada data reveals that China has surpassed Australia as Canada’s fifth largest inbound tourism market, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. “The growth in visits to Canada by Chinese travellers is remarkable and encouraging,”said Tourism Industry Association of Canada president and CEO David Goldstein. “It also serves to underscore the need to increase our visa processing capacity in mainland China to help satisfy the growing demand for these vital travel documents.”Signed by the Canadian and Chinese governments in June, 2010, the ADS agreement facilitates outbound tourist group travel from China to Canada and allows Canada to actively market its tourism products in China. Less than two years after the agreement, more than 232,000 Chinese travellers arrived in Canada in the first 11 months of 2011, a 24% increase over the same period in 2010. The new figures come on the heels of an announcement by US President Barack Obama committing to a national strategy to increase travel and tourism and spur job creation in the United States. In particular, the US government has committed to increasing its visa-processing capacity for Chinese travellers. “Canada’s Federal Tourism Strategy has already introduced a co-ordinated, whole-of-government approach to developing smart public policy to help increase our international tourism exports,”said Goldstein. “With the United States setting its sights on increasing travel to their country as a means of spurring economic growth, the competition for international travellers will unquestionably reach a higher level, and we need to be ready to take on that challenge.”