BC industry partners come together to promote Canada in Guangzhou and other cities in China.
The ribbon has been cut and travellers are now officially up, up and away on a new China Southern Airlines service between Vancouver, BC, and Guangzhou, China. These flights provide a fresh opportunity to raise Canada’s profile in this rapidly growing tourism market, and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has teamed up with BC tourism industry partners to get the momentum going.
These thrice-weekly flights are the first direct service from Guangzhou to Canada. China Southern Airlines, Asia’s biggest airline, is investing heavily in advertising its inaugural route to Canada, backed up CTC and its partners Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver Airport Authority. This new service will give extra impetus to the China market, coming one year on from the signing of Approved Destination Status (ADS) for Canada between the two federal governments. Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong, China’s most populous province.
The first flight touched down on June 15 for a traditional water ceremony on the runway to celebrate the new route. There to greet passengers at Vancouver International Airport was the the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), Larry Berg, Vancouver Airport Authority president and CEO and BC Premier Christy Clark as well as Greg Klassen, CTC senior vice-president Marketing Strategy and Communications. A Lion Dance greeted and led more than 50 Chinese VIPs, including China Southern Airlines president Mr Tan Wangeng and executive vice president Mr He Zongkai, to a formal ceremony beside “The Jade Canoe,” Vancouver artist Bill Reid’s famous sculpture in the airport.
From there, the Chinese dignitaries were whisked away on an extensive familiarization trip around British Columbia, which will take in the sights, sounds and cuisine of Vancouver, Victoria and Richmond. These stops will include Granville Island, whale-watching, The Butchart Gardens and Stanley Park.
“The new service will bring immediate economic benefits to BC and Canada as a whole through job creation and boosting GDP,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. “It will also further accelerate the number of Chinese travellers coming to Canada on the back of a 21% growth in arrivals in 2010.”