Canada's prime winter spot seeks China tourists

Updated: 2015-02-19 04:31

By Zheng Xin in Beijing(China Daily Canada)

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Canada's prime winter spot seeks China tourists

Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alberta, October 3, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Alberta, situated in the heart of western Canada, aims to lure more Chinese tourists this year, while carving out a bigger share of the lucrative gold mine of outbound travelers in China.

"We want to attract more Chinese visitors to experience the quality winter experience in the fairyland of winter," said Maria Yang, marketing development director of Travel Alberta's Chinese office.

According to Travel Alberta, the province's official tourism agency, the country's prime winter destination has come up with various winter activities and cultural events to attract the Chinese, who are more than ever focusing on a quality winter experience.

According to Yang, Edmonton, capital of Alberta situated on the North Saskatchewan River, is ready to welcome the Chinese tourist to its Ice Cross Downhill World Series Season Finale this March 14, as the country celebrates ten years of Red Bull Crashed Ice events in Canada.

"We want to introduce the Chinese tourists to the wonderful winter adventures and the most unique sport of its kind in Alberta, with its most impressive and challenging track of the whole season," said Yang.

The season will kick off in Saint Paul, Minnesota this January, followed by Helsinki, Finland, Belfast, Northern Ireland and Edmonton. The season finale stop is consistently renowned as the most iconic of the circuit, and Edmonton's will feature the longest track of the entire season, she said.

"It will start within the city centre and will make its way down to the North Saskatchewan River Valley," said Yang.

"Chinese visitors can experience the exciting combination of hockey, boarder cross, and downhill skiing, seeing athletes hurtle down an urban ice track that weaves through city streets at speeds of over 60 km/hr," she said.

In addition to the winter activities in Alberta, including skiing, snowboarding, canyon ice walking, dog sledding, snow shoeing and hot spring spa, the fairyland of winter has also come up with various cultural activities to attract more Chinese visitors to the home of five UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the spectacular setting of Waterton Lakes National Park, home to Alberta's most diverse community of wildflowers, and Edmonton, site of largest all-Canadian wine and food festival.

According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by China in June 2010, allowing the CTC and travel trade to actively market Canada directly to Chinese consumers.

Since then, CTC-China has undertaken a variety of marketing activities that have increased the awareness of Canada in China and Chinese visitor numbers to Canada.

The 10-year visa policy targeting Chinese tourists with multiple entry and 82 flights from China to Canada every week have also attracted even more Chinese tourists to Canada each year, it said.

According to the inbound travel to Canada from China statistics provided by the commission, the overnight trip to Canada has witnessed a steady growth rate of around 20 percent since 2010.