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CTC launches first consumer-focused advertising campaign in China

VANCOUVER, BC - February 16, 2011 - The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has launched its first major advertising campaign in China since Canada was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in June 2010. The designation meant that for the first time CTC could market Canada in China andcompete on an equal footing with other destinations.

“We are aiming primarily at affluent, high-spending and well-educated 25- to 34-year-olds in this initial campaign,” says Derek Galpin, CTC managing director China/India. “Our research shows that they are the most inclined to long-haul travel, and then to get out and explore Canada once they arrive.”

The stakes are high and international competition is fierce for a share in the world’s most rapidly growing outbound tourism market. China says it will deliver 100 million international travellers worldwide by 2020. This growth has the potential to generate an additional $300 million a year in tourism revenues for Canada by 2015.

Says Greg Klassen, CTC’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Communications, “This time next year, CTC expects significant growth from the China market linked to additional air capacity, our advertising and promotional campaigns, and partner support. With tour operators in China and suppliers in Canada, CTC will showcase high-quality vacation experiences. To start, we’ll focus on promoting well-known tourism icons. Later, once Chinese travellers feel a certain comfort level, we’ll introduce them to experiences a little more off the beaten track.”

The marketing campaign, “Say hello to Canada,” aims to introduce Canada to potential Chinese travellers in the same open, informal way as making a new friend. Advertising will feature heavily online, including key social-media platforms such as Kaixin, video-sharing sites such as Youku, search engines and micro blogs as well as travel, lifestyle, news and culinary websites. There will also be ads in leading newspapers and travel or lifestyle mags, such as Shanghai Weekly, The Bund and National Geographic. To pique Chinese interest further, an online game will have prize trips to Canada at stake.

In China, as elsewhere, Canada is also a leading destination for the highly lucrative and rapidly growing meetings, incentive and conventions travel sector (MICE).

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