GDP growth has been 10 per cent or greater, year-on-year since 2003 in China, making it the fastest growing and second largest economy in the world. The World Tourism Organization is forecasting that by 2020, China will produce 100 million outbound international travellers making it the largest outbound tourism market in the world.
Since Canada was granted the Approved Destination Status (ADS) in July 2010, Travel Alberta has been working closely with CTC China in consumer and trade campaigns aimed at raising consumer awareness of Alberta as a destination. Campaigns target the most affluent big cities in China, with calls to action for purchase through key tour operator partners.
The largest growth market segment in China is leisure group travel from the increasingly affluent middle class. In addition, fully independent travellers (FIT) remain a fast growing segment along with an expanding Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibition (MICE) market.
The brand awareness for Alberta is relatively low in China. Compounded by the higher price tag, Alberta has a distinct drawback in a market that is known for its price-sensitivity. Travel Alberta is working closely with CTC and Tourism BC in a Canada's West approach as BC has a high awareness for its key cities, and Chinese tend to cover more areas when they travel instead of mono stay.
- Favourable relations with Chinese travel trade and media
- Alignment of marketing efforts/messages with CTC, airlines and Canada/Alberta partners
- Travel Alberta Chinese website
- Comprehensive marketing promotions including co-op campaigns and e-marketing in-market
- Low destination awareness; lack of knowledge of Alberta’s major icons and cities
- Niche market product is not strong including entertainment experiences, cuisine-related products, fashion-related products and self-touring
- The economy is expected to remain buoyant
- Relatively high consideration, indicating that Canada has strong inherent appeal and potential in China
- Strong Internet use and growth in the number of online users
- Growth in private consumption is remaining high while unemployment remains low
- The growing China MICE market
- Fierce competition from both short-haul and long-haul competitive destinations
- Airfares to Canada and within Canada are much more expensive than to Australia, Europe and U.S.
- First timers of Chinese travellers don’t mind being on a rush tour with limited budget and duration across Canada
- Inability to control quality tour programs post-ADS