Toronto selected to host Canada's largest travel delegation from China

Toronto to welcome 6,000 elite salespeople from NU SKIN Greater China

TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Toronto has won its bid to host the largest travel delegation ever to come from China to Canada. The Chinese incentive travel group, NU Skin Greater China, will send 6,000 of its elite salespeople to Toronto in 2018, following a signing ceremony held this week in Shanghai between NU Skin officials, Tourism Toronto and the Ontario Minister of International Trade. This travel program is estimated to generate $8.3 million in visitor spending in Ontario.

This coveted win is part of Tourism Toronto's multi-year strategy to attract both leisure and corporate travellers from China, which remains the largest overseas market for tourism. In 2015 alone, 260,000 visitors arrived from China, a figure that has doubled since 2010.

"Top destinations from around the world were bidding in hopes of attracting NU SKIN," said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "This win is further evidence that Toronto has achieved a prestige status in China as a destination and has emerged as a leader in the international incentive travel sector."

NU SKIN is one of several recent high-profile results stemming from the strategic efforts of Tourism Toronto in cooperation with the Government of Ontario. Two years ago, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michael Chan, now Ontario Minister of International Trade, joined Tourism Toronto in China to help secure the previous record-breaking incentive group, Perfect China. Perfect China and several other major Chinese incentive travel groups, including Sun Hope International Corporation and Joymain, will collectively bring more than 11,000 travellers to Toronto and Ontario, as well as visitor spending of nearly $44 million, in addition to NU SKIN Greater China's commitment.

"Toronto is an ideal setting for our annual incentive program because it offers the excitement of a global city with memorable experiences like Niagara Falls," said Angela Lau, Regional Vice President, NU SKIN Greater China. "We were particularly impressed by the strong partnership among everyone involved in the Toronto bid, from the industry to government, which demonstrates a strong commitment to this business."

"China is an important trade partner for Ontario, and our government is proud to collaborate with Tourism Toronto to actively engage the Chinese travel market. Increased tourism between Ontario and China not only deepens our economic relationship in this key international market, it also promotes our province as a premier global travel, trade and investment destination that will create jobs to benefit both jurisdictions economically," said Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade.

More than 315,000 people are employed in tourism and hospitality in the Toronto region, illustrating the significance of this sector to Ontario's economy and to the communities in which these events are held. Overall last year Toronto hosted 725 meetings and conventions, bringing 356,600 delegates to the region and generating $417 million in spend. At the same time, Tourism Toronto and its partners booked 751 new meetings and events for future years that will bring 351,900 delegates and $376 million in direct spending to the region.

"Our government is a proud supporter of Ontario's tourism industry and is thrilled to see continued interest in our cities, people and cultural landscape from groups like NU SKIN Greater China. By strengthening both corporate and leisure tourism, we are building on our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, while bringing people together from around the world," said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Recent commitments made by the Federal government to open new visa offices and to deepen the connection between Canada and China will also contribute to sustained growth in tourism and trade between the two countries.

"These wins and the strong growth in Chinese tourism to Toronto are the culmination of a decade of work to build key relationships and lay the groundwork for success," said Ms. Bélanger.

About Tourism Toronto
Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,000 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. For more information please visit www.seetorontonow.com.

SOURCE Tourism Toronto

Image with caption: "[Left to right: Vincent Huang, Director, NU SKIN Greater China; Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade; Mark Crawford, Director of Business Development, Tourism Toronto, on a tour of the NU SKIN business facility in Shanghai. The group, as well as Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto, were in Shanghai yesterday to officially sign an agreement that will welcome 6,000 travel delegates from China in 2018, making it the largest-ever incentive travel group to visit Canada from the country. (CNW Group/Tourism Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161012_C5936_PHOTO_EN_795232.jpg



For further information: Krystal Carter, Media Relations Manager, Tourism Toronto, 647-289-6376, kcarter@torcvb.com; Hedy Wang, Tourism Toronto China Office, (8610) 6589-6534, Hedy.wang@cctvgb.com.cn; Katrina Sands, Press Secretary, Office of Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade, Katrina.sands@ontario.ca, (416) 327-2845

RELATED LINKS
http://www.torontotourism.com

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