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China Southern Airlines welcomed at Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway

VANCOUVER, BC, June 15, 2011—The inaugural flight of non-stop service between Canada and China’s most populous province, Guangdong, touched down in Vancouver today, widening the gate to a lucrative tourism market. As of today, China Southern Airlines, Asia’s premier airline offers three flights per week between Guangzhou and Vancouver.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) anticipates the service to bring up to 44,000 Chinese travellers to Canada every year, pulling an additional $72 million into Canada’s economy. As a result, CTC expects to see $22 million more in government revenues, with 600 Canadian jobs created and sustained.

Says Greg Klassen, CTC’s senior vice-president, Marketing Strategy & Communications, “Following Approved Destination Status granted last June,  Canada is seizing every opportunity to promote extraordinary travel experiences to Chinese travellers; as marketers we reach out to them but need visionary operators like China Southern Airlines to open up new markets and deliver the customers. Today marks a whole new opportunity for growth.”

To capitalize on the new route, a partnership of Canada’s tourism marketers, including the CTC, Government of BC, Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver Airport Authority, has come together to promote Canada in a big way in Guangzhou. The CTC already actively markets Canada in Beijing and Shanghai.

“The CTC has built strong relationships with Chinese tour operators over the last five years and the new China Southern Airlines route is a great example of progress,” says Derek Galpin, CTC’s managing director for China. “A ‘united Canada’ approach is essential to success, and I’m happy to say we’re on the right path.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Media assets accompanying this story are available as follows:

China Tourism Fact Sheet