B.C. braces for Chinese tourist invasion
British Columbia is bracing for a Chinese invasion to boost tourism as the first group of travellers arrived in Vancouver after China granted Canada Approved Destination Status.
Three hundred and fifty people from Mainland China were greeted by Premier Gordon Campbell and federal Minister Stockwell Day at Vancouver International Airport Wednesday.
The granted status means that Chinese tourists are now permitted to travel in large groups to the country for leisure travel, and tourism companies in China can actively promote Canadian tours.
According to the United Nations, 100 million Chinese citizens will travel abroad each year by 2022, and Canada wants to get a piece of the action.
“We want to be sure Canada is a wonderful and attractive magnet,” said Day.
Campbell expects “hundreds of millions of dollars” in tourism revenue from the ADS designation, mainly because of B.C.’s strong ties to China.
“Over 400,000 British Columbians have roots directly in China,” he said.
David Goldstein, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, said B.C. will receive most of the tourism dollars as Chinese travellers are introduced to Canada.
“Hopefully there will be thousands [of tourists] by the time we get to the Christmas break and thousands more in the spring,” Goldstein said. “We know it’s going to be a great stimulating effect. We have vibrant, cosmopolitan, safe cities where there’s already a great Chinese community so they get a little taste of home.”
The tour groups that arrived Wednesday will be visiting Vancouver, the Rocky Mountains and Ottawa.
Source: 24 Hours