Earlier this month 120 Chinese guests came together for “Together We Breakfast” at Heritage Park historical village to celebrate the Calgary Stampede Centennial.
This gathering represents the largest group of Chinese tourists to converge in Alberta since Canada was granted Approved Destination Status in 2010.
“The Chinese market represents a huge opportunity for Alberta’s tourism industry and I am thrilled to welcome such a large group of visitors to our province” says Alberta’s Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Christine Cusanelli. “Along with their souvenirs and photos, I hope our Chinese guests will return home with great Alberta travel stories to share with their friends and families.”
Together We Breakfast was part of a larger strategy to build awareness of Alberta as an exciting destination among China’s growing affluent middle class. The authentic Stampede breakfast—which honoured both cultures, with pancakes and dim sum—was an incentive proposed by Travel Alberta to encourage the sales of tour packages featuring a minimum of four days in the province. In the past, standard Chinese tour packages spent as little as one day in Alberta.
In 2010, 38K Chinese visitors contributed a total of $26M to Alberta’s economy, however, as Canada received Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 2010, 2011 figures will provide the strongest indication of the impact that ADS had on tourism in Alberta.
“Outbound travel from China has more than doubled in the past ten years,” explains Bruce Okabe, Travel Alberta Chief Executive Officer. “Approximately 70 million Chinese travelled overseas in 2011—this growth represents incredible potential for Alberta’s tourism industry. By leveraging our efforts with our industry partners in China, we are tapping into this exciting market.”
Travel Alberta’s marketing strategy in China incorporates a number of different tactics to reach a wide audience of travellers both online and offline. China currently ranks sixth in international visitation to Alberta, following behind established markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Japan.