It’s not just that arrivals to Canada from China are reaching new peaks. New direct flights launched over a year ago are showing positive effects. In particular, they swing the demographics to millennials and, because these travelers tend to be independent and free-spirited, this helps reshape tourism to beyond Vancouver and Toronto.


Direct services such as Hainan Airlines’ thrice-weekly Beijing-Calgary, which launched in June 2016, and Air China’s thrice-weekly Beijing-Montreal service, which began in September 2015 (the first transpacific direct link between Asia and Montreal), are a fillip for central and eastern Canada to nab a share of Chinese travelers.


And it’s millennials who are driving growth, says Destination Canada’s managing director-China, Derek Galpin. There are around 250 million of them in China, he points out.

加拿大旅游局(Destination Canada)中国区总监德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)指出:中国的千禧一代大约有2.5亿人,正是他们不断推动着加拿大旅游业的发展。



Last year saw an all-time high 610,000 Chinese arrivals to Canada, an increase of 24 percent year-on-year, making China the third-largest market in arrivals after the UK and the U.S., and the second-largest in spending after the U.S.


The apparent surge of Chinese tourists to Canada in 2016 contrasts with U.S. Commerce Department figures for January to March (down 0.5 percent) and March 2017 (down 2.1 percent). U.S. President Trump’s anti-China rhetoric and travel bans undoubtedly are part of the reason for the decline.


It’s a huge leap in less than 10 years — in 2008, Canada welcomed only 160,000 Chinese visitors — and while all major destinations worldwide can claim a “me-too” in growth when swarms of Chinese started traveling long-haul, Galpin says Canada has outperformed the rest.

德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)指出:相比2008年,当年加拿大共接待中国游客16万人次,在最近的十年中,我们已经取得了巨大飞跃。尽管当人数众多的中国游客开始长途旅行时,全球所有主流旅行目的地的旅游业都会出现如此的大幅度增长,但是加拿大已经走在了世界前列。

However, Canada was granted Approved Destination Status by China only in 2010. The EU got that designation in 2004, and the U.S. did in 2007. What spurred the exponential growth for Canada was more direct flights, while a 10-year multiple-entry visa for Chinese to Canada since 2005 also helped.


Overall, air seat capacity grew 26 percent last year, with Canada now accessible from 11 gateway cities in China, and its four largest metropolitan areas are all served with non-stop flights from China. In the first half of this year, air seat capacity from China to Canada rose 36.9 percent over the same period in 2016.


Canada is also in the right place at an opportune time. On the one hand, adventure travel, polar exploration and road trips have captured young Chinese travelers’ imaginations, and are expected to rise 52 percent, 38 percent and 75 percent, respectively, over the next three years. That comes from a 2016 survey of wealthy Chinese millennials ages 18–36 conducted by Hurun Research Institute in conjunction with Marriott International.


“You can see from the launch of new direct flights how tourism is increasingly extending beyond British Columbia and Ontario,” says Galpin. “Northern Canada is also becoming increasingly popular for experiences like witnessing the magical Northern Lights, dog-sledding and polar bear encounters.”

德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)说:“从新开通的直飞航线中可以看出,旅游业正日益向不列颠哥伦比亚省和安大略省之外的地区拓展,越来越多的中国游客开始去往加拿大北部去欣赏那里神奇的北极光,体验狗拉雪橇和北极熊探险。”



It’s just that Destination Canada needs to overcome its main challenge of increasing year-round tourism and spreading tourists to more places.


“Our huge tourism peak is in summer holidays, which is the same everywhere,” says Galpin. “The swing to young millennials aged 20–34 (also from its other key Asian destinations South Korea and Japan), making up 40 percent of all visitors to Canada in the last three years, is the key to resolving this. First, they are more flexible and willing to try alternative seasons, which can also provide good value. Secondly, they are looking for outdoor adventures and experiences, which we have in droves.”

德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)说:“对于全国各个地区来讲,夏季都是旅游的高峰期。而要增加其他季节的游客数量,还需要从近些年越来越多的20-34岁的千禧一代游客入手。这些游客不仅来自于中国,也来自于韩国和日本,在过去的三年中,他们的数量已经占到游客总数量的40%。与其他游客相比,首先,他们更加灵活,更加愿意尝试不同的季节旅行,去体验不同季节的美。其次,他们正在寻求去体验我们推出的各项户外探险和体验活动”。

Chinese-oriented features are taking shape.


“That’s why Asian-language hiking trail, canoeing and campground information is being developed for our National Parks. For off-season travelers, we promote the beauty of driving through colorful forests in the fall, such as the Lake Louise Wonderfall from September to October, and the Dark Skies Festival, when stargazers flock to Jasper National Park in winter. Much of Canada is transformed into a dazzling snowy wonderland through winter, so we also promote a variety of fun outdoor activities from ice festivals and dogsledding to sleigh rides, ice-skating and many other experiences that make Canada an exhilarating year-round destination.”


2018 will be the Year of China-Canada Tourism, which Galpin expects will greatly enhance cultural exchanges and result in “a big increase” in visitors between the two countries.

德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)非常期待 2018年的中加旅游年,希望能够通过加强两国的文化交流,使得两国之间的游客数量大增。

Destination Canada will continue to step up efforts in China, working closely with tourism partners and focusing marketing on millennials. Beyond traditional marketing and media outreach, it is engaging the digitally connected travelers, many of them millennials. One way, the tourism board believes, is inviting online influencers to explore Canada and report their experiences to these readers.


China also necessitates a “mobile-first” approach, says Galpin. “The social channels we use include Weibo, WeChat and Today’s Headline and all are predominantly mobile. Our video distribution platforms including iQiYi, Youku, Headline News, Tencent and Sina are also accessed primarily through mobile devices.”

德里克﹒盖尔平(Derek Galpin)说:“在中国也必须采用“移动优先”的方式”,我们所使用的各类社交渠道,包括微博、微信和今日头条,绝大多数都是在移动端完成的。我们的视频发布平台,包括爱奇艺、优酷、头条新闻、腾讯和新浪也都可以通过移动端获取到。


skpwork | 从业4年


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