CTC News

China: a Canada travel market poised for serious growth.

21% surge in 2010 visitor numbers is just the beginning, says latest CTC Global Tourism Watch report.

27 May 2011

China is very much a country—and a travel market—in ascendance. Hot on the heels of another year of economic growth, the latest Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary published by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), points to an eight-point increase in Chinese travellers likely to visit Canada over the next two years.

Some other key stats:

  • It’s still an economic boom time in China: 2010 saw another 10% growth, although there are indicators that speed may slow in 2011.

  • Despite a relatively small current market potential (4.7 million people), 48% of those (2.3 million Chinese) say they will definitely or most likely head to Canada in the next two years.

  • Long-haul travel is definitely on Chinese consumers’ wish lists: 91% in 2010 chalked it off as important, down from 94% in 2009.

  • British Columbia (86%) is the province most Chinese travellers would like to go to, far in front of second-placed Ontario (68%).

  • However, top-of-mind awareness has taken a few bruises: Canada now ranks fourth, behind the US, France and Australia.

  • There was mixed news in terms of price perceptions. Although 54% of those surveyed thought food and entertainment was at a reasonable price in Canada (up 13% on 2009), Chinese visitors remain sceptical over airfare affordability.

  • Chinese travellers have a broad range of interests, so it’s hard to find destination leaders for specific experiences. Canada is in a strong position for three of the top five: seeing beautiful scenery, exploring nature in close proximity to a cosmopolitan city and exploring vibrant cities in close proximity to nature.

  • TV travel shows and websites/podcasts/travel blogs nudge the Chinese traveller needle to Canada more effectively than other sources of information. 

Harris/Decima Research conducts the Global Tourism Watch survey for CTC. The company asks thousands of participants aged 18 and over from around the world for their views on Canada and CTC’s “Canada. Keep Exploringtourism brand. The 2010 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2007. In China, the sample was restricted to those cities where Canada is permitted to market under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Read the Global Tourism Watch China 2010 summary report.


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