China grants Canada Approved Destination Status

VANCOUVER, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) acknowledges the importance of Canada's agreement with China on Approved Destination Status (ADS) for Canada and our tourism industry.

"This agreement represents great potential for the visitor economy and future growth of the industry. The Canadian Tourism Commission will take full advantage of this agreement and begin marketing business and leisure travel opportunities to the Chinese people" said Michele McKenzie, CTC's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Up until this important development, CTC has not been able to market directly to consumers but has been preparing for ADS by establishing an entry-level team, leveraging tourism opportunities for Canada, and creating key relationships on the ground that will be strategic going forward. With this CTC will propose and seek to implement a robust action plan to leverage the growing interest of Chinese travellers to Canada.

"ADS opens a very big door. We look forward to mobilizing quickly to take advantage of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and promoting Canada's image throughout this massive market," said Michele McKenzie.

In 2008 visits to Canada by Chinese citizens were up 5.3 per cent from the year before, for a total of 159,000. Chinese travellers had the highest average length of stay (28 nights) in Canada and spent more than visitors from any other country ($1,648.51).

According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, ADS is expected to boost the yearly rate of travel to Canada from China by up to 50 per cent by 2015.

About the CTC

The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

For further information: Amber Campbell, Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel: (604) 638-8411, campbell.amber@ctc-cct.ca; Galpin, Derek, Managing Director - China and India, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel: +(8610) 8529-9066 ext. 33, galpin.derek@ctc-cct.cn