First Asian supermodel is the new face of CTC’s online TV program, showcasing Canada’s exceptional travel experiences to millions of Chinese viewers.
Asia’s first supermodel is the new face of a tourism superpower. Godfrey Gao, cover star of Vogue, GQ and Esquire plus TV and movie star in China and Hollywood, is taking the lead role on CTCTV, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s online TV program that is taking Chinese viewers by storm.
CTCTV’s summer schedule will be based on Gao’s trips to different parts of Canada, revealing Canada through 10 themes: accommodation and relaxation; arts and culture; cuisine; events and festivals; honeymoon, wedding and romance; nature and wildlife; on the water; outdoor adventures; road and train; and urban. The new programs were launched at a media event in Beijing this week headlined by Gao and attended by 70 journalists.
Gao was raised in Canada, delighting in hiking, snowboarding and mountain biking in North Vancouver, BC. He is currently working on his starring role as the warrior Lu Bu in China’s most anticipated TV drama for 2015, “Zhao Zi Long.” His first trips that will be televised on CTCTV focus on urban, culinary and nature experiences in and around Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC, including foraging for lunch in Stanley Park, crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge and shopping on Toronto’s Queen Street West, one of Vogue’s 15 coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
CTCTV’s summer programs will be promoted on iQiYi, Sina and Baidu. New for 2015, CTC-China has developed a mobile-optimized HTML5 light app for WeChat. Here, consumers will be able to see teaser videos and more in-depth story development, which will create a buzz around the full content housed on iQiYi and be easily shared with friends.
CTCTV has been a smash hit with Chinese consumers since its launch last year, with each episode drawing an average audience of 1.2 million. CTC’s tourism partners for the summer program schedule are Destination British Columbia, Travel Alberta, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Tourism Yukon and Tourism Northwest Territories.
“Canada is a hot commodity in the China market: more than 454,000 Chinese travellers came to Canada in 2014, a 28.8% year-on-year rise and well above the national outbound average of 18%,” says Derek Galpin, CTC-China managing director. “We are the leading tourism player in terms of content marketing in China, and will seek to maintain that advantage by continuing to invest in creative and innovative initiatives.”
A new BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report highlights that Chinese outbound travel spending is likely to reach $264 billion in 2019, $100 billion higher than 2012. “A Juggernaut Poised for Growth–A Primer on China” estimates that 463 million air tickets will be sold in China by 2016, with 41% booked online.