Canada seeking to attract more Chinese tourists


OTTAWA, Canada – Canada’s tourism industry is seeking to attract more Chinese tourists by providing quality products, said Greg Klassen, senior vice president for Marketing Strategy and Communications at the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

Canada has launched a “Say Hello to Canada” campaign earlier this year to introduce Canada to Chinese, Klassen said during an interview on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement between China and Canada.

“We hope that will attract a great number of Chinese travelers to learn about Canada, understand it, and want to take a trip here,” Klassen said, adding that the campaign will be running into this autumn.

Canada has seen a quick surge in the number of Chinese tourists since the agreement was signed on June 24 last year, compared with the results of the previous several years, when only a one-digit increase was recorded.

According to figures released by the CTC, trips to Canada by Chinese travelers increased by 21.3 percent in 2010.

According to information the China National Tourism Administration got from main travel agents for outbound trips in Beijing, Shanghai, as well as Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, Chinese tourists are satisfied with the tourism products Canada provides as a whole, while some complaints exist in terms of airfare.

Klassen admitted that the airfare is expensive, but he thinks that once more airlines offer flights to Canada, the prices will go down.

“But we always focus on making sure regardless of some of our higher prices, relative to some other markets, that we earn that price by providing value to Chinese travelers,” he added.

Klassen said in order to provide better service to Chinese visitors, Canada still has a lot to do, such as making sure some services are provided in the Chinese language, providing more special foods in restaurants and hotels to accommodate Chinese people’s eating habits, and Chinese-language television in hotel rooms.