Montréal, August 22, 2010 – Montréal is celebrating today by holding an official reception – along with the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourisme Montréal and Aéroports de Montréal – to mark the arrival of the first Chinese tourists to this city since Canada was granted Approved Destination Status on December 3, 2009, by China. This designation, which has been sought after for over ten years, will allow Chinese tourists to visit Canada more easily in the future.
In the past, Montréal received approximately 20,000 Chinese travellers per year who came here on special visas for business or visiting family. The new designation now allows the city to develop its own strategy to curry favour among Chinese tourists and become their destination of choice. The economic repercussions are enormous, since the World Tourism Organization predicts that China will be the fourth supplier of tourists from now until 2020, with approximately 100 million travellers in the world. “This is the start of a new era for Montréal regarding Chinese tourists, and that is why Tourisme Montréal is offering a wholehearted welcome to five groups that are currently visiting the city,” says the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “We are especially jubilant of their arrival as it also bears witness to the results of the groundwork we did with a public relations firm in Shanghai, of the special activities we undertook last May to mark the opening of the Montréal pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, and the impact of our brochures in Mandarin.”
Montréal has maintained strong ties with China for a long time; for example, the twinning with the city of Shanghai since 1985, Montréal’s major presence at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, and the Chinese Garden at the Montréal Botanical Garden, to name just a few. Strengthened by this tie and by commercializing – in tandem with local retailers – an offer adapted to the interests of Chinese travellers, Montréal proposes to provide them a unique tourism experience so that this city will become a destination they will be only too eager to recommend.
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