Alberta luring Chinese tourists
Updated: 2014-11-02 04:33
By WANG RU in Beijing(China Daily USA)
Seeing a growing demand in the Chinese tourist market for quality winter experiences, Alberta, situated in the heart of western Canada, found a new way to showcase its celebrated cold weather attractions.
On Oct 27 Travel Alberta, the province's official tourism agency, launched a Chinese-language version of its virtual winter tour on its website (travelalberta.cn) in Beijing.
"Alberta is the fairyland of winter," said Wade Harper, executive director of International Marketing of Travel Alberta, "home to five UNESCO's World Heritages sites and a paradise for winter cultural events."
"We want to introduce Chinese tourists to the wonderful winter adventures in Alberta with both snow and sunshine," said Harper.
Travel Alberta has selected nine travel agencies in China to help them promote its winter tourism offerings.
The 10-year visa policy for Chinese tourists with multiple entry and 82 flights from China to Canada every week have attracted more Chinese tourists to Canada year round.
Six of the recommended winter activities in Alberta are skiing and snowboarding, canyon ice walking, dog sledding, snow shoeing, aurora borealis viewing and hot spring spa.
Alberta is bordered on the west by the majestic the Canadian Rockies. To the east lie the Canadian Badlands, a wind-eroded moonscape of multi-hued canyons and lava flows and home to some of the greatest dinosaur fossil finds ever.
It is also home to five national parks, four of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They showcase the beauty and diversity of Alberta's natural heritage of majestic mountains, forests and grasslands and wildlife.
Alberta has three ski resorts located in Banff National Park: Mt Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. A single tri-area lift ticket is good at all three of them.
The frozen canyons of the Canadian Rockies offer adventure for both hard core ice climbers and tourists who just want a mellow ice walk. The giant cascading waterfalls frozen in luminescent shades of blue are breathtaking.
Alberta is also home to the world's two largest dark sky preserves - Jasper National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park. See countless constellations, the planets and the backbone of the Milky Way, all visible with the naked eye, while telescopes reveal fine details like the rings of Saturn and faraway galaxies.
Alberta's gateway cities of Edmonton and Calgary offer luxury accommodation, fine dining, shopping (Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial retail sales tax) and a lively arts and cultural scene.