Market Insight

Canada has enjoyed steady growth in Chinese visitation since receiving Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 2010.

According to Destination Canada, there was a record 682,000 arrivals to Canada from China in 2017, up 12 per cent over 2016. China was Canada’s largest source of tourism arrivals from the Asia-Pacific region and Destination Canada’s second largest overseas market.

While awareness of Canada as a travel destination is low in China, awareness of Alberta is even lower. Destination marketing under the Canada brand is critical to Alberta's success.

While traditional escorted group tours are most popular with travellers from China, the fastest growing segment is independent travel by affluent middle-class and luxury travellers aged 20 to 45. These younger travellers are increasingly turning to the Internet to plan and book their trips and are heavily influenced by digital and social marketing. Travel Alberta's marketing initiatives are well positioned to attract these high-potential travellers.

Top areas of interest for Alberta include ski, winter, RV, self-drive, photography and golf.

Opportunity for growth

  • Maximize potential of the direct air service between Beijing and Calgary and increased air access into Vancouver, to grow visitation for Alberta from first, second and third tier cities.

Key initiatives

  • Grow thematic travel and mono Alberta itineraries to promote longer stays and independent travel throughout the province
  • Engage the digitally connected traveller through year-round marketing focused on targeting with relevant content
  • Invest in marketing partnerships that will increase visitation during need periods and diversify experience offering within Alberta