Minister Chagger celebrates official opening of the Canada-China Year of Tourism

News release

Ceremony showcases Chinese tourism and culture; Canada will close out the Year in China

March 21, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario

Canada has made building stronger and deeper people-to-people ties with China a priority. Through stronger ties, both countries will be able to attract more tourists and increase investments, which will create new jobs and drive growth.

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism,  joined senior officials from the China National Tourism Administration for the opening ceremony, formally launching the Canada-China Year of Tourism.

Hosted by China’s National Tourism Office in Toronto, the ceremony, held at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts,  featured tourism displays from several Chinese provinces, a unique Chinese kungfu performance and the lighting of the CN Tower in red to honour the colour of the flags of both countries– marking one of a number of events planned in both countries to celebrate the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.


“Canadian ties to China run deep – almost 1.8 million Canadians have Chinese heritage and are an important part of the fabric of our diverse country; China is also our second-largest trade partner. I am proud to take part in this fabulous opening ceremony. Tourism is an important industry for both of our countries, and I look forward to the opportunities this Year will create on both sides of the Pacific. Last year, we welcomed a record number of Chinese visitors, and I expect that this year we will break that record easily. The benefits will be felt right across the country, as more and more Chinese visitors venture out of our vibrant cities to explore the great outdoors, and our rich and diverse cultural traditions, from coast to coast to coast.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Quick facts

  • Canada experienced a record-breaking year in 2017, welcoming 20.8 million international tourists to Canada. It has been a golden opportunity for the many small businesses that operate in the tourism sector.

  • Tourism is Canada’s leading service export and employs one in 10 Canadians.

  • China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, largest and fastest growing source market for international students and third-largest source of tourists.

  • The Government of Canada has committed $11 million to support activities during the Canada-China Year of Tourism, a portion of which will be used to help our hardworking tourism operators to create positive experiences for visitors, resulting in new and repeat tourists.

  • One example of this is a federal government partnership with Tourism HR Canada to offer a special edition of “Welcoming International Visitors” – occupation-specific factsheets to better serve Chinese visitors – free of charge to all Canadian businesses.

  • In 2016, the average Chinese visitor spent more while on holiday in Canada than other visitors ($2,517).

  • Canadian ties to China run deep – there are almost 1.8 million Chinese Canadians living all across the country; aside from English and French, Mandarin and Cantonese are Canada’s most widely spoken languages.

  • Since China granted approved destination status to Canada in 2010, the number of tourists from China has grown from 195,000 in 2010 to a preliminary estimate of 682,000 in 2017.


Follow Minister Chagger on social media.
Twitter: @MinofSBT
Instagram: minofsbt

Jonathan Dignan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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