Minister Chagger to lead federal, provincial and territorial tourism trade mission to China

News release

Mission will connect Canadian businesses to partners in the world’s largest outbound tourism market during the Canada-China Year of Tourism

June 14, 2018, Ottawa ON

Canada and China enjoy strong people-to-people and business-to-business ties—the foundation for further cooperation and growth in both countries. As the Canada-China Year of Tourism (CCYT) enters peak tourist season, Canada’s dynamic tourism industry is getting ready to welcome a record number of Chinese visitors, which will lead to the creation of good middle-class jobs and economic growth for Canadians.

To help Canadian companies take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity offered by CCYT, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced that she will lead a delegation of more than two dozen Canadian tourism companies, alongside provincial and territorial ministers and officials, to China from June 23 to 28.

The week-long mission will bring together tourism industry businesses and stakeholders, with a focus on Indigenous tourism, rural and remote destinations, culinary tourism and winter sports tourism. The delegation will showcase Canada’s diverse and unique tourism opportunities to Chinese travellers and to the Chinese tourism industry.

Through this mission, Canadian tourism industry leaders will be immersed in the Chinese market and will develop a better understanding of its immense potential. They will have the opportunity to promote Canada’s tourism offerings and meet key stakeholders in the Chinese tourism industry through business-to-business matchmaking and briefings from trade and tourism experts. A number of key business development events—in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai—will help delegates gain a better understanding of this market and forge important partnerships with Chinese operators.

The delegation comprises tourism industry leaders from across Canada, including Parks Canada, Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).


“As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism, I am honoured to lead this delegation of Canadian tourism industry leaders to China. China is Canada’s second-largest overseas source market for tourists, and it’s growing. Our government understands the economic opportunity this represents for the more than 200,000 small businesses in the industry and the close to 1.8 million Canadians whose jobs are supported by tourism. Tourism is the number one employer of youth and makes up 2% of Canada’s GDP. Tourism is also Canada’s largest service export. We are committed to building on this momentum. Our goal is to double the number of Chinese visitors coming to Canada by 2021, and the relationships we build on this trade mission will strengthen our business-to-business connections in this key market.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“I encourage all Chinese tourists to experience the outdoors and learn about Canada’s heritage by visiting our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas during the Canada-China Year of Tourism. I am especially proud that we are offering free admission for youth from around the world, from 2018 and beyond, to all our Parks Canada places from coast to coast to coast. This is the perfect way to celebrate families and the importance of protected areas.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“There is unprecedented momentum in the Chinese market, and we are working with our provincial and territorial partners and tourism businesses from across the country to seize the opportunity. This trade mission, led by the Government of Canada, is great exposure for our partners and the sector as a whole.”
– David F. Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada

“With the continued growth forecasted for China inbound tourism, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada welcomes the opportunity to join the trade mission. Helping Canadian businesses capitalize on this market is an ongoing priority for our organization. Since 2016, TIAC has been working with the Government of Canada to administer the Canada-China Inbound Tour Operator Accreditation Program, helping SMEs get China-ready with 20 training sessions delivered across Canada. TIAC continues to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries by advocating for measures that facilitate access to Canada, securing market-approved payment methods, and partnering with leading Chinese organizations such as CNTA, the Word Tourism Alliance and UnionPay.”
– Charlotte Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Industry Association of Canada

“With its depth and breadth of cultural, adventure, accommodation and activity offerings available for visitors from around the world in which to immerse themselves, Indigenous tourism is a key motivator for Canada’s tourism industry. For the past three years, our national organization has worked closely with the Government of Canada and our provincial and territorial partners to ensure that international visitors seek out and enjoy these unique experiences when they visit our beautiful country.”
– Keith Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer,  Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Quick facts

  • This trade mission is part of Minister Chagger’s commitment to working with provincial and territorial representatives to better promote Canada as a top tourism destination, which she made during the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers.

  • Tourism is Canada’s top service export, accounting for one in ten jobs associated with the visitor economy.

  • Tourism GDP in 2017 was $41.2 billion, up 6.3% from 2016. Tourism’s share of Canadian GDP in 2017 was over 2%.

  • More than 735,000 jobs were directly supported by tourism in 2017, up 1.9% from 2016.

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

  • Chinese travellers typically spend more on average than other travellers. The amount spent per trip in 2016 was $2,517. Chinese tourists spent an estimated $1.488 billion in Canada in 2016.

  • Since China granted Canada approved destination status in 2010, the number of Chinese tourists to Canada grew on average by nearly 20% each year.

  • The number of tourists from China grew from 195,000 in 2010 to 682,000, according to preliminary estimates, in 2017. The government is committed to continuing this impressive trend of record-breaking growth.

  • Preliminary tourism estimates for the first quarter of 2018 (January to March) show that approximately 131,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada, representing growth of 25.6% compared to the first quarter of 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, China overtook the U.K. as the largest overseas market for Canadian tourism for the first time ever.


Follow the mission on Twitter: @canadabusiness

Business delegation

Representatives of over 25 tourism businesses and associations from across Canada are joining Minister Chagger on the mission. They will participate in business-to-business networking events, meet with key partners and promote their unforgettable products in the Chinese market.

Air Canada
Air North Charter and Training Ltd.
Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec
Arctic Colour Tours Inc.
Arctic Kingdom
Atlantic Ambassatours Limited
Aurora Village
Beyond Deep International Group
Blachford Lake Lodge and Wilderness Resort
Canada China Business Council
Compass Travel Club
Halifax International Airport Authority
Fairmont Hotels – Eastern Canada
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Indigenous Tourism BC
Mount Baldy
Northern Vision Development
One Ocean Expeditions
Pillitteri Estates Winery
Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection
Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountain Scenic Tours
Ski Sutton Inc.
Target Tours
Tourisme Autochtone Québec
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
Tundra North Tours
Yellowknife Tours Ltd.


Sandra Aubé
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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