Premier Invites Chinese Tourists To Discover Ontario
Ontario Partners With Chinese Provinces To Boost Two-Way Tourism
Premier Dalton McGuinty visited the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai to promote Ontario as a world-class tourism destination for a new generation of Chinese tourists.
Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture and Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade joined Premier McGuinty to sign tourism cooperation agreements with the Henan and Shandong provinces. These agreements represent over $160 million in benefits for Ontario's tourism economy. Ontario also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Henan Province on the Establishment of Friendly Exchange and Cooperation Relations.
China is an important and growing market for Ontario. The Chinese government extended Approved Destination Status (ADS) to Canada in June, setting the stage for a 20 per cent increase in Chinese tourism to Ontario by 2012.
Earlier, Ministers Pupatello and Chan attended the official opening of a new Ontario wine store in Zhengzhou, the capital of China's Henan province. Maple Leaf Wines will feature Ontario wines, including the award-winning Pelee Island table and ice wines to Chinese consumers.
- Over 70 million people have visited the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
- More than 600,000 Ontarians are of Chinese origin.
- Ontario welcomed almost 76,000 visitors from China in 2008, and contributed more than $150 million to the Ontario economy. Another 46,000 visitors from Hong Kong also visited that year.
- Ontario's tourism industry employs over 300,000 people directly and indirectly. Tourism spending was $22 billion in 2008.
“With so many Chinese-Canadians living in Ontario, we're not only partners and friends -- we're also family. Chinese visitors can expect a warm welcome as they discover all Ontario has to offer.”
“More of our friends from China will now have the chance to enjoy Ontario's natural beauty, dynamic cities and warm culture. It also means that even more of my fellow Ontarians will know about the wonderful history and culture of these two Chinese provinces.”