North­ern lights lure Chi­nese tourists

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

Last year, about 1,500 Chi­nese tourists and stargaz­ers vis­ited the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries in Canada, com­pared to only 100 four years ago.

Dur­ing the week­long mis­sion to China, the del­e­ga­tion of the NWT ex­pected to lure more Chi­nese tourists to the aurora cap­i­tal of the world.

Premier Bob McLeod said the NWT of­fer ex­cep­tional once-in-a-lifetime ad­ven­tures away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of busy city life.

“For many trav­el­ers, the still­ness of our vast open land and dark skies of­fers a per­fect set­ting to ob­serve the power of mys­tery of the Aurora Bo­re­alis,” he noted.

David Ram­say, min­is­ter of the In­dus­try, Tourism and In­vest­ment of gov­ern­ment of the NWT said the ter­ri­tory is in­ter­ested in dis­cussing ways in which it can part­ner with Chi­nese com­pa­nies and in­vestors to en­hance its com­pet­i­tive­ness in the lu­cra­tive Chi­nese tourism mar­ket.

“We are in­ter­ested in grow­ing our mar­ket share of leisure trav­el­ers from China,” he said. “We are com­mit­ted to tai­lor­ing our tourism prod­ucts to align with the iden­ti­fied in­ter­ests of vis­i­tors from China.”

McLeod said they need more funds to pro­mote the re­gion’s tourism mar­ket in China. They hoped that the abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture could be shown in China some­day.

Ma­jor ci­ties in­clud­ing the cap­i­tal city Yel­lowknife and Inu­vik are well-con­nected by ma­jor air­lines and ac­com­mo­da­tions. Fa­cil­i­ties fall in the range of world class mod­ern ho­tels and restau­rants to lux­ury lodges in the wilder­ness.

The tra­di­tional cloth­ing, fur gar­ments and arts and crafts prod­ucts of the re­gion’s abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, in­clud­ing the North Amer­i­can In­di­ans and Inuit, are a bonus el­e­ment of the tourism of­fer­ing.

Ram­say said the re­gion’s de­vel­oped high­way sys­tem and stun­ning un­touched nat­u­ral land­scapes is a par­adise for those who en­joy self­guided tours.

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