BC pro­motes eco-tourism in China

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSCANADA - By WANG RU in Beijing wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing the wildlife of Bri­tish Columbia — Canada’s west­ern­most prov­ince — was held on Nov 26 at the Cana­dian Em­bassy in Beijing.

Xi Zhi­nong, one of the lead­ing wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers and con­ser­va­tion­ist in China, took the pic­tures dur­ing his twoweek trip in Bri­tish Columbia in Au­gust.

Bri­tish Columbia and the Cana­dian Em­bassy co-hosted the event to pro­mote the prov­ince’s eco-tourism to the Chi­nese tourism mar­ket.

From the mys­te­ri­ous Ker­mode bear wan­der­ing in the woods of the Great Bear Rain­for­est and thou­sands of sal­mon jumping out of Adams River, to pad­dling along­side or­cas, Xi’s lens cap­tured stun­ning mo­ments of wildlife in Bri­tish Columbia.

“Ev­ery­one yearns for mag­nif­i­cent na­ture and stun­ning an­i­mals,” said Xi. “There are end­less seas and forests in Bri­tish Columbia. Var­i­ous an­i­mals, in­clud­ing black bears, griz­zly bears, whales, bald ea­gles and sal­mon can be found ev­ery­where. In Bri­tish Columbia, you can see the world as it first ap­peared.”

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Canada Tourism Com­mis­sion, Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Tar­get Mag­a­zine, Xi and Zhang Xing­sheng, chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive of The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy Asia- Pa­cific Re­gion — who as an en­vi­ron­men­tal am­bas­sador was also in­vited to ex­plore the eco-tourism Bri­tish Columbia has — shared their ex­pe­ri­ences with me­dia as well as their opin­ions on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and eco-tourism.

Dur­ing the trip, they went hik­ing and ca­noe­ing in Koote­nay Rock­ies, sipped wine in Okana­gan, watched bears in Great Bear Rain­for­est, went sal­mon fish­ing and sal­mon div­ing in Camp­bell River, and ex­plored the art and cul­ture of the First Na­tions.

“Bri­tish Columbia bal­ances eco-pro­tec­tion with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,” said Zhang. “The prov­ince’s nat­u­ral re­sources pro­vide the foun­da­tion for so­cial de­vel­op­ment and the well-be­ing of the peo­ple, which is a good in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the tra­di­tional Chi­nese phi­los­o­phy of ‘unity of man and na­ture’.

“Most out­bound Chi­nese tourists are still used to the style of hur­ried travel, of shop­ping and tak­ing pic­tures, but a grow­ing num­ber of tourists are be­gin­ning to de­mand di­verse trav­el­ing ex­pe­ri­ences abroad now,” said Zhang, also an en­tre­pre­neur based in Beijing.

“The high-end trav­el­ing doesn’t only mean first class flight and five-star ho­tel, but also in-depth un­der­stand­ing of the lo­cal cul­ture and his­tory and full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Zhang.

Since Canada re­ceived Ap­proved Des­ti­na­tion Sta­tus (ADS) in 2010, Canada, and in­deed Bri­tish Columbia, has be­come one of China’s most promis­ing mar­kets.

Ac­cord­ing to Des­ti­na­tion Bri­tish Columbia, from Jan­uary to Au­gust 2014, BC re­ceived 185,828 Chi­nese vis­i­tors, a 28.3 per­cent in­crease over last year. Early this year, Des­ti­na­tion BC launched 13 themed itin­er­ar­ies, and in 2015, the or­ga­ni­za­tion will in­tro­duce more eco-re­lated tours to the Chi­nese mar­ket.

With land­scapes rang­ing from seashores to moun­tain peaks, pris­tine wilder­ness, stun­ning scenery, abun­dant wildlife and an­cient abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture, BC is an eco-trav­eler’s dream.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Thrill-seek­ing tourists close in on a brown bear in the Great Bear Rain­for­est.

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