A new survey released today by Travelzoo, a global publisher of exclusive offers and experiences for members, predicts a record number of Chinese leisure travellers will visit Canada in 2018.
According to Destination Canada, the official government body promoting travel to Canada, an estimated 750,000 Chinese tourists will have visited Canada by the end of 2017, a 23% increase over the previous year. In 2018, this trend is expected to continue. The Travelzoo Winter Travel Trends Survey* found that 88% of Travelzoo members in China report they will be travelling to North America in the next two years, and nearly all of them (97%) are coming for leisure travel. One-third plan to visit Vancouver and 28% intend to travel to Toronto. These are encouraging figures in the wake of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing in September that initiatives intended to boost travel between the two nations will be launched in 2018.
"China and Canada are building a strong relationship in tourism," says Lara Barlow, General Manager, Canada, for Travelzoo. "From the top destination for the Chinese—the Rocky Mountains—to the most-visited cities of Vancouver and Toronto, Canada's sites look set to continue to attract record numbers of Chinese visitors."
China is a significant market for the Canadian tourism industry. Statistics Canada has stated that Chinese visitors alone contribute more than $1 billion to the Canadian economy, supporting an estimated 7,400 jobs. A 2016 international travel survey also conducted by Statistics Canada found the average stay in Canada for a Chinese tourist is 24 days.
Chinese tourists are especially attracted by Canada's outstanding natural beauty. "Unlike 10 years ago, when the Chinese travelled to shop, we are witnessing a growing appetite among Chinese tourists to explore nature in depth," said Yoyo Huang, publisher in Travelzoo's Shanghai office. "Canada offers some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on the planet. Travelzoo in China is working with suppliers to offer our members more opportunities to enjoy the types of experiences they are seeking in Canada."
Canada and China have been working together on ways to make travel between the two countries easier. Since summer of this year, travellers can now fly directly to Canada from 11 cities in China. Historically, travel visas have been harder to get, but the recent opening of seven new visa application centres across China makes it quicker and easier for Chinese travellers to apply for their Canadian visas closer to home.
Furthermore, the Canada-China tourism relationship is not a one-way affair. "Travelzoo has also seen a significant increase in more affordable travel offers from a variety of Canadian providers, including many packages under $1,000 including flights, making 2018 also a great time for Canadians to visit China as well," adds Barlow.
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