YVR trav­ellers in­crease with sim­pli­fied visa-free tran­sit pro­gram

Asian Journal - - British Columbia -

Vic­to­ria: The B.C. econ­omy will ben­e­fit from re­cent fed­eral changes to the China Tran­sit Pro­gram that make it eas­ier for air­lines to carry el­i­gi­ble Chi­nese pas­sen­gers through Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port (YVR), Min­is­ter of State for Tourism and Small Busi­ness Naomi Ya­mamoto an­nounced. Min­is­ter of Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Chris Alexander an­nounced changes to the China Tran­sit Pro­gram (CTP) that al­lows el­i­gi­ble Chi­nese trav­ellers to fly to and tran­sit through Canada visa-free when they are en route to and from the United States. Adding the Seoul and Tokyo air­ports to this pro­gram benefits YVR with in­creased air ser­vice and pas­sen­ger growth, in­clud­ing ad­di­tional rev­enue for the air­port through land­ing fees and spend­ing by trav­ellers. It also sup­ports YVR’s goal to be­come a world­class sus­tain­able con­nect­ing hub. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to look at fur­ther ex­pan­sion of tran­sit pro­grams and is as­sess­ing the el­i­gi­bil­ity of other de­par­ture cities in China, with the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional 50 flights a week be­tween China and the Amer­i­cas through Van­cou­ver. The re­sult would be an ad­di­tional 2,800 jobs and $167.5 mil­lion in gross do­mes­tic prod­uct to the B.C. econ­omy over the next five years. Naomi Ya­mamoto, Min­is­ter of State for Tourism and Small Busi­ness said, “Tourism in B.C. is boom­ing and ac­counts for 4% of the prov­ince’s to­tal GDP. In 2014 we saw overnight en­tries from China alone up 26.2% com­pared to 2013. On­go­ing ex­pan­sion of visa-free tran­sit­ing pro­grams im­proves air ac­cess for our tourism in­dus­try as well as se­cures flights be­tween YVR and emerg­ing tourism mar­kets in Asia.”

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