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NEWS RELEASE · 24th June 2010
Office of the Premier
Premier Gordon Campbell welcomed today's signing in Ottawa of a formal agreement establishing Approved Destination Status (ADS) between China and Canada.

"This is a significant milestone in our relations with China," said Premier Campbell. "Not only will Approved Destination Status result in substantial economic benefits for B.C. in the form of increased tourism revenues and job creation, it represents an important step forward in strengthening our role as Canada's gateway to the Asia Pacific."

The agreement is expected to increase Chinese visitors to British Columbia by 10 per cent in 2010, 15 per cent in 2011 and an additional 15 per cent for 2012. Last year, 160,833 Chinese visitors came to Canada, with more than half visiting British Columbia.

The new ADS agreement takes effect immediately and will enable Chinese citizens to travel to Canada in organized, pre sold tour groups. Previously, Chinese travellers to Canada were eligible to obtain exit visas to Canada only if travelling for study, visiting friends and relatives, business or independent tourism activities.

With the ADS designation, Canadian tourism businesses and destination marketing organizations can actively market Canadian tourism products and experiences within China. As well, Chinese tour operators can organize, promote and advertise group travel packages to Canada.

"Approved Destination Status opens up a rapidly growing segment of the Chinese tourism market for British Columbia," said Premier Campbell. "As we build on the momentum of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the signing of this agreement with the world's most populous nation will help promote strong growth in our tourism sector."

Moving forward, the B.C. government will continue to work with the Canadian Tourism Commission to maximize British Columbia's exposure to potential Chinese tourists through expanded marketing campaigns highlighting the many tourism opportunities B.C. has to offer.

These marketing campaigns will include media promotions to increase consumer awareness in China of B.C. as a highly desirable travel destination and co-operative advertising of packaged group holidays available through selected tour operators.