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Calgary-Beijing Flight Welcome News for Alberta’s Tourism Industry

Alberta’s tourism industry welcomes the new non-stop flights announced today connecting Calgary International Airport with Beijing, China.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets. This flight means huge potential for tourism operators across the province.

“Increased air access to and from Alberta’s priority markets opens doors for tourism, business and investment opportunities, which will help strengthen and diversify our economy,” said Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Alberta Culture and Tourism. “As more global citizens come to our province, they will see and experience everything Alberta has to offer. It is also an opportunity to reconnect and strengthen family ties with our vibrant Chinese community.”

Tourism is an $8 billion industry in Alberta, supporting 127,000 jobs across the province. Travel Alberta has made a significant marketing investment in China over the past five years in anticipation of a direct flight into the province. According to the latest Statistics Canada data available, more than 59,000 Chinese travellers visited Alberta in 2013, spending $35 million during their visits.

“This direct service into Alberta is the result of many partners working together with a common goal for growth,” says Royce Chwin, Travel Alberta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited to partner with Hainan Airlines, the Calgary Airport Authority and Alberta industry partners to inspire travellers and fill seats into Calgary.”

Since Canada received Approved Destination Status in 2010, Alberta has seen consistent growth year-over-year from China. Overnight trips from China to Canada grew 7.7% during the first eight months of 2015, according to the most recent figures available from Statistics Canada. Prior to the new direct air access, Chinese travellers arrived in Alberta on connecting flights through Vancouver, Tokyo and Seattle.

To build destination awareness and traveller interest, Travel Alberta has activated China-specific strategies incorporating consumer-direct marketing, travel trade, media relations and digital and social marketing. As well, Travel Alberta has been working closely with Alberta’s tourism industry partners to enhance experiences for global travellers, including those from China.

For industry looking to learn more, Travel Alberta has created an online webinar called “Welcome to Alberta: Preparing for the Chinese Traveller.” Watch the webinar below to learn about the latest trends and market potential, and the initiatives Travel Alberta is undertaking in China to seize emerging opportunities. You will also gain insights about how Alberta’s tourism industry can differentiate itself in this competitive environment to better attract and serve the Chinese traveller.


Travel Alberta