International Torchbearer Akshay Kumar Prepares for Vancouver 2010 Olympic
Torch Relay in Mumbai

Prototype of Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch presented to Kumar, one of fourteen international torchbearers from Canadian Tourism Commission's global markets

VANCOUVER, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is all set to go as a torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada.

Chosen as one of fourteen international torchbearers from the CTC's global markets to run in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, Kumar got a chance to don the official torchbearer uniform and hold a prototype of the torch presented to him by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a luncheon during his recent visit to India. Kumar will run in Toronto on Dec. 17.

The Torch Relay International Media Program is a unique part of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)'s Olympic Games Tourism Strategy. It was developed by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in collaboration with the CTC to increase media coverage of Canada in CTC's key international markets and other international and domestic media.

Through this program, well-known international sports and entertainment personalities participate as torchbearers in the Olympic Torch Relay in locations across Canada. Coverage of the torchbearers' running goes beyond the story of the relay and gives a sense of the unique places and people international travellers might encounter while visiting the various regions of Canada.

The CTC has just launched operations in Mumbai, the centre of Indian tour business, following its entry into the Delhi market in August. A two-year $40-million stimulus funding package was awarded to the CTC by the federal government last January, as part of the Economic Action Plan. Over that period, $10 million a year is set aside for the CTC's emerging and priority international markets: Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the US.

CTC Vice President of Market Development Andrew Clark says, "Visitor numbers from India to Canada are already climbing. We believe that, along with our partners, we can leverage CTC's tourism brand-"Canada. Keep Exploring"-and the upcoming 2010 Winter Games to make a sustained impact in this emerging market and drive increased visitor revenue to Canada."

Outbound travel continues to grow from India, capitalizing on the extraordinary experiences that Canada offers to Indian travellers. In 2008, Canada received 129,000 visitors from India (up 7.4% over 2007).

    Links to additional resources:

    -   Photograph: Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, international torchbearer
        from India for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, is presented
        with a prototype of Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch in Mumbai by Prime
        Minister Stephen Harper
        L-R: Andrew Clark, CTC VP Market Development; Akshay Kumar; Prime
        Minister Stephen Harper; Derek Galpin, CTC Managing Director, China
        and India

    -   Profile: Akshay Kumar:

    -   Backgrounder: 2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program:

    -   Backgrounder: India as a Key Developing Market for Canada:

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.

SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Margaret Nevin, Senior Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel (604) 638-8406,,

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