British Columbia: Cold treats on offer
Updated 16:07, 01-Nov-2018
British Columbia has launched a set of distinctive winter travel itineraries and products to woo Chinese visitors. And they range from skiing and Christmas activities to city visits, Chinese New Year celebrations and Spring Festival events, with a focus on personalization and experience-oriented tourism, as revealed at a tourism promotion meeting in Beijing in early October.
"Over the past few years, tourists have begun to pay more attention to experiences and diversity in their travel plans. Experiential travel, covering culture, food, sports and education, is becoming increasingly popular," says Monica Leeck, Asia Pacific Market Development Manager for the Destination British Columbia.
According to Canadian customs reports, as of March 2018, 131,029 Chinese mainland tourists visited Canada, with 61,373 traveling to British Columbia. 
Experiential travel, covering culture, food, sports and education, is becoming increasingly popular. /China Daily Photo

Experiential travel, covering culture, food, sports and education, is becoming increasingly popular. /China Daily Photo

This represents an 11-percent increase over the same period last year, making the Chinese mainland an important source of tourism from Asia for Canada and its province of British Columbia. 
Last year, the destination launched the "One Thousand Chinese Celebrating Chinese New Year in Vancouver BC" project, which provided a unique outbound travel experience for Chinese tourists during the Spring Festival. 
"The program was very well received by both tourism partners and consumers. So, this year, we are building on that experience and China's evolving tourism trends, and launching new itineraries for the winter season," says Leeck.
These itineraries are crafted to help Chinese tourists feel the charm of British Columbia through the entire season, with a special focus on the New Year and Spring Festival holidays.
"This winter program will represent a memorable close to a successful 2018 China-Canada Year of Tourism," adds Leeck.
The 2018 China-Canada Tourism Year is a milestone in the relationship between China and Canada, which has brought new opportunities for both sides to expand tourism exchanges, strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and deepen practical cooperation. 
A tourist plays the outdoor ski activity. /China Daily Photo

A tourist plays the outdoor ski activity. /China Daily Photo

The Destination BC's novel offerings will enable travelers to experience fresh beginnings in the New Year, while taking in the diversity and beauty of the winter, including local culture, outdoor ski resources and festival activities.
This year, Destination British Columbia, in collaboration with 23 travel agencies, has developed winter travel products for the China market.
As part of this initiative, tourists can stay in British Columbia for four to five nights to ski and enjoy authentic Canadian Christmas festivities, as well as enjoy unique Spring Festival celebrations and New Year events across different cities.
Also, tourists can visit the well-known Van Dusen Botanical Garden Festival of Lights.
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is also a can't-miss experience for families, where they can cross the mountain in a sled, snowshoe through a pine forest, sip a cup of hot chocolate, taste traditional cheese fondue and experience the Christmas spirit atop the mountain.
At McArthurGlen, known as Europe's leader in designer outlet shopping, tourists can enjoy special winter and New Year offers, and experience the charm and fashion of Vancouver shopping.
They can also feel the joy and spirit of the season through the bright lights and festive decorations of the Vancouver Christmas Market.
A tourist snowboards in the Canadian city of Richmond. /China Daily Photo

A tourist snowboards in the Canadian city of Richmond. /China Daily Photo

At the Richmond Olympic Oval, tourists can play ice hockey and see sites from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Over in Victoria, guests can spend an afternoon at the Royal BC Museum to get a glimpse of the history and development of the city, or revel in the British legacy as they sample classic afternoon tea in the romantic Butchart Gardens.
During the Spring Festival, Destination BC will offer two special itineraries for Chinese tourists, including a visit to the Second International Multicultural Art Festival in Vancouver, and a welcome ceremony in Victoria's Chinatown, where Chinese tourists can feel at home with an authentic Spring Festival atmosphere, while experiencing the beauty that comes from merging Chinese and Western cultures.
Chinese visitors can also take a stroll on the Capilano Suspension Bridge decorated with lights and see stunning snow-scapes in Whistler.
Wine produced at Richmond's popular Lulu Island Winery and ice wine from Okanagan's Summerhill Pyramid Winery are also something one shouldn't miss.
At the Beijing tourism promotion event, Destination BC also launched a winter online promotion campaign with the theme "72 Changes in This Winter," inspired from the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West.
The campaign focuses on four winter-themed experiences - skiing, classic winter travel, Christmas & New Year and the Spring Festival - and aims to attract Chinese travelers to spend an unforgettable winter holiday in the region.
Canada has set a goal of doubling the number of Chinese tourists visiting Canada by 2021. Earlier this year, it has opened seven new visa application centers in China to facilitate trips for Chinese visitors. In addition, Canada has carried out many travel initiatives to other countries in recent years. For instance, the government of Canada has lifted the visa requirement for Mexican nationals as Mexico is one of the highest growth source markets for Canadian tourism. 
Meanwhile, the Canadian government has expanded the electronic travel authorization (eTA) to select visa-required countries, which would help promote trade and travel, while continuing to protect the safety of Canadians. Eligible travelers from Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania are now eligible to apply for an eTA. 
(Cover: A tourist skis in the Canadian city of Richmond. /China Daily Photo)
Source(s): China Daily