The Honorable Rob Moore, Canadian Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) and government partners lead a mission to China from October 17-21 to strengthen ties between the Chinese and Canadian travel industries. The aim of the mission was to help foster new opportunities presented by the Approved Destination Status agreement with China and promote travel from China to Canada. The Minister of State was joined by provincial tourism ministers and delegates and members of the Canadian tourism industry.
In June 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Canada and China to implement Approved Destination Status (ADS) for Canada. This agreement will allow groups of travelers from China to visit Canada, and give the Canadian tourism industry the ability to market directly to Chinese travelers.
ADS is a tremendous boost for Canada’s tourism industry and has the potential to grow its visitor economy as it opens up to the world’s fastest-growing outbound tourism market. According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, ADS is expected to boost the yearly number of travelers from China to Canada by up to 50 percent by 2015.
In August, Minister of State Rob Moore welcomed the first official visit by a Chinese tour group under ADS. The group spent one week in Canada exploring and experiencing some of the country’s unique and historic attractions.
The minister also attended a luncheon with members of the Shanghai government, travel industry, and travel media.
Minister of State Moore offered opening remarks highlighting some of Canada’s most unique and fascinating attractions. He told the audience that he and the delegation were visiting China in an effort to learn more about how to ensure that travelers from China would have an enjoyable experience in Canada. The Minister of State also emphasized that Canada is building the necessary infrastructure, increasing the number of flights between Canada and Asia, and accelerating the visa application process.
The luncheon was followed by a roundtable meeting to discuss future opportunities under Canada’s Approved Destination Status with China. The discussion also focused on ways of promoting Canada to the Chinese public.
During his stay in Shanghai, the Honourable Rob Moore visited World Expo 2010. World Expo 2010 Shanghai offers a glimpse into the history and culture of a multitude of countries from around the world. Nearly 60 million people have already explored its many pavilions. Minister of State Moore visited the Chinese and Indian pavilions. These countries are priority international markets for Canada and are important to the future of Canadian tourism.
Minister of State Moore and his travel delegation also visited the Canada Pavilion at World Expo. There he pedaled on an interactive bicycle through animated urban Canadian cityscapes at the Canada Pavilion.
With the help of Air Canada, Minister of State Moore was pleased to award Xiao Xi Zhi, the 5.8-millionth visitor to the Canada Pavilion with a free flight to the destination of her choice.
The government of Canada has made a significant commitment to Canada’s participation in World Expo 2010 Shanghai, representing Canada’s commitment to its relationship with China and specifically with Shanghai. With a $58-million budget to build and operate its pavilion, Canada was among the first countries to start construction at the site.
Since its opening on May 1, the Canada Pavilion has been one of the most popular attractions at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, drawing nearly 35,000 visitors daily. It is expected that attendance will exceed 6 million visitors by the time World Expo 2010 concludes on October 31, 2010.
Minister of State Moore and his travel delegation visited the China Pavilion, which is known as “The Crown of the East.” The pavilion is styled after traditional Chinese architecture from the Spring and Autumn Period (between the 8th and 5th centuries BCE).
The trip to the China Pavilion provided the delegation with a deeper understanding of the vastness of China and its steady progress in becoming a world power. With over 1.3 billion citizens and a growing economy, China will have a major impact on tourism worldwide. China’s granting of Approved Destination Status to Canada means that more Chinese visitors will be arriving in Canada than ever before. The Canadian government and tourism industry are prepared to welcome these new arrivals and ensure that they not only enjoy their stay, but also plan to return.