Destination Canada has just finished a trade mission to China to strengthen relationships between the two countries during the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.
The government's tourism marketing organization is based in Vancouver and sent a delegation with its president and CEO David F. Goldstein, federal minister of small business and tourism Bardish Chagger and other partners to events in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
"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." says Chagger.
Destination Canada signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) - one with tourism company UTour and the other with Ctrip, which is the largest online travel agency in China. The renewed MOU with Ctrip will increase the focus on Indigenous experiences and Atlantic Canada, according to a press release.
"By leveraging on Ctrip's big data and one-stop integrative online services platform, the Canadian tourism market has experienced continuous growth. The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism is a timely opportunity for Ctrip and Destination Canada to engage further in-depth cooperation," says Ctrip CEO Jane Sun.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang officially declared 2018 the Canada-China Year of Tourism back in September, 2016.
More than 610,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada in 2016 and the federal government has set a goal of doubling the number of Chinese tourists coming to Canada by 2021.
China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the U.S. and has opened seven new visa application centres in recent years to help Chinese visitors come to Canada more quickly and easily.