Tours: Chinese now 3rd largest
Qu, who was born and raised in Harbin, moved to Canada at 16 to study and eventually relocated to Vancouver, where she began her musical career. She is the first Asian artist signed by Nettwerk, Canada’s largest independent record label.
China’s growing middle class is helping to drive visitor traffic. “As China’s middle class grows, so does the disposable income and that means their appetite for travel and recreation will also increase,” said Pearce.
Vancouver is one of the most picturesque cities in North America if not the world, so marketing the area to overseas tourists is not a difficult task. The city is also blessed with a vibrant nightlife, museums and historical sites and a close proximity to some of the best fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities in Canada.
Tourism Vancouver estimates that tourism was a C$3.6 billion ($3.3 billion) industry for the metro area in 2012. Industry trade group Destination British Columbia said tourism generated $13.5 billion in the province in 2012. Specific figures for Chinese tourists are not available but Tourism Vancouver said that in 2012, each overnight visitor to the city spent about $407.12 per trip, excluding transportation.
The Chinese now represent the third largest group of tourists to Vancouver behind domestic visitors and those from the US, ranked first and second respectively. Chou said about 90 percent of Chinese tourists coming to Canada visit either Vancouver or Toronto. “I am starting to see more Chinese interest in Alberta, probably because of the strong economy there,” he added.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and welcomed 181,000 Chinese tourists in 2013.