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Media Advisory: Special Chinese New Year Celebration Kicks-Off 2018 Canada China Year of Tourism Activities

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Destination BC and several BC tourism partners are hosting a special Chinese New Year dinner on Saturday, February 17, 2018 to launch the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism in British Columbia.  The event will include nearly 300 Chinese tourists, as part of a tourism promotional activity in support of this special year.

/EIN News/ -- Itinerary and location:

6:30 to 6:40pm: Lion Dancers
6:40 pm: Welcome speeches

  • Marsha Walden, President and CEO, Destination BC
  • Honorable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
  • BC’s Consul General for China, Ms. Xiaoling Tong
  • Victoria’s Mayor, Lisa Helps

7:10: Dinner starts for sponsors and Chinese visitors

Location:         The Theatre at River Rock Casino Resort
                        8811 River Road, Richmond

Note: Destination BC’s President and CEO, Marsha Walden, will be available for interviews at 6pm or after the speeches have concluded.

*To confirm your interest in covering the event or request an interview, please email:

Backgrounder follows

Destination BC, in collaboration with Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Richmond, Tourism Victoria, Vancouver International Airport, Air Canada and other BC trade partners, jointly presents this unique evening as part of their marketing activities in support of the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism. Working with key tour operators in China, the project’s overarching objective is to inspire and motivate Chinese visitors to travel to BC, by showcasing the Chinese New Year and multi-cultural activities in Vancouver, Victoria and Richmond. The dinner is part of a tour package that included a minimum five night stay in BC.

  • To date (Jan-Nov 2017), BC has received 315,140 visitors from China, a 6.7% increase over the same period in 2016. More visitation stats can be found here: (stats are provided by Statistics Canada on a two-month delay)
  • Chinese visitation to BC has more than tripled since 2009; China is now BC’s second largest international market after the US. Over 50% of Chinese visitors to Canada visit BC at some point during their travels.
  • Destination BC has had representation in Beijing since 2010, co-located with Destination Canada, to market British Columbia as a year-round destination.
  • In 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Li declared 2018 as the Canada-China Year of Tourism. The federal government and Destination Canada are working with each of the provincial destination marketing organizations on promotional activities.
  • Vancouver has become China’s most connected city in North America, with over 50 flights to YVR connecting 11 mainland Chinese cities in the 2016/2017 winter/spring seasons, and 61 flights per week to YVR during the peak summer 2017 season. YVR currently hosts more Chinese airlines (seven) than any other airport in North America. There are 18 flights weekly between Beijing and Vancouver.
  • Chinese tourists are now able to visit Canada frequently since Approved Destination Status (ADS) was granted in 2010, and the introduction of 10-year multiple-entry visas in 2015.
  • Canada has opened seven new visa application centres (VACs) in China, in addition to those already open in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. These VACs are in so-called ‘secondary cities’ (Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenyang, Jinan, Nanjing, Kunming and Hangzhou) and will support further travel growth to Canada.
  • Destination BC’s marketing efforts for China include:
    • Introducing new tourism products to tour operators to promote longer length of stays, dispersion around the province and in different seasons.
    • Supporting Destination Canada’s marketing initiatives by participating in various campaigns, featuring key BC experiences on digital, travel media and social media channels.
    • Seeking unique trips to BC for key influencers, media outlets and events to showcase areas of British Columbia back in China.
    • Supporting Destination Canada’s 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism promotions.
    • Building awareness of BC ski products, through the travel trade and on social media, ahead of the 2022 Olympics in China.
    • Partnering with CTrip, China’s largest online travel agency, to increase awareness of BC.
    • Destination BC recently signed a promotional agreement with international business group Tencent Ltd., a leading provider of Internet services in China, and owner of social media giant WeChat. The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada and will give BC a preferred marketing platform on the social media messaging application WeChat, which attracts over 900 million daily active users making it one of the largest in the world. The partnership will allow greater access to Chinese consumers, enabling Destination BC to connect with WeChat users to share content and promote tourism to BC.

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