tourism industry must grab the opportunity to find new ways to attract tourists
and investment from the fast-growing Chinese market, Mayor Jim Watson told
tourism and hotel operators on May 19.
Watson will be leading a delegation to China in mid June to look at ways in which Ottawa can capitalize on
the rapid growth from the world's second largest economy.
While in China, the group will attend the Beijing
International Tourism Festival from June 15 to 19.
“China is a critical market for Ottawa’s
future prosperity, and our sister city relation with Beijing will only further strengthen our
cooperative relationship,” said Watson. “This trade mission will affirm our
commitment to international relations with China
at the most senior level of municipal governments, and will promote Ottawa as the preferred
destination for tourism, post-secondary education and investment.”
Delegates will come from organizations including the Ottawa
Gatineau Hotel Association, Ottawa Tourism, the Ottawa Convention
Centre, the Ottawa Airport, the Delta Hotel, The Westin Hotel, and
the Lord Elgin.
According to Watson, 31.6 million outbound Chinese tourists
travelled abroad in 2009 and spent $43.7 billion on their travels despite the
It is projected that by 2020 China will have 100 million
international visitors, making it the largest outbound tourism market in the
“We need to get our share of this huge new market that is
naturally attracted to Canada,” said Watson.
He added that China is a critical market for Ottawa’s future
Between now and 2013, the City of Ottawa
hopes to see an increase in the number of visits from China to Ottawa
from 14,000 in 2009 to 25,000 in 2013.
“This increase of almost 56 per cent is ambitious but
achievable,” Watson stated.
The mission to Beijing is intended to promote Ottawa’s
status as an approved destination for Chinese tourists, give the Ottawa airport
an opportunity to meet with airlines that fly to Canada and direct more foreign
investment to Ottawa.
these goals means working together to ensure we are known in China and other
key places as a great place to visit.