One million Chinese tourists in Canada by 2016
The federal government is pushing for an agreement with China that could allow one million Chinese tourists a year to arrive in Canada, despite the fact that some may exploit the system to enter the country illegally. The deal could be lucrative for Canada. Chinese tourists are considered big consumers and could add more than $ 1 billion to the Canadian economy each year. Ottawa would be one of the first Western capitals to negotiate a mass tourism agreement with Beijing. But because Canada's refugee determination system would allow Chinese tourists to claim refugee status relatively easily upon arrival, there is reason to fear that tourists must be carefully examined. There is also anxiety about tourists heading south across the border and creating a security problem for the United States. Officials say the deal could be negotiated by the end of this year.
The Canadian Tourism
Former Liberal cabinet minister Judd Buchanan, president of the Canadian Tourism Commission, is expected to lobby for the deal in Beijing next week. With its rising revenues and greater openness to the world, China is preparing to launch a tourism boom. For the first time, she has a wealthy middle class with disposable income and a pent-up desire to travel abroad. According to the World Tourism Organization, an impressive 100 million Chinese tourists will travel abroad each year by 2020. "It has huge potential," said Richard Liu, director of the Chinese bureau of the tourism commission. He predicted that one million Chinese tourists will visit Canada each year in the three or four years of an agreement.
Chinese tourists spend a lot of money
In some countries, they are now allowed to visit, the average Chinese tourist spends more than $ 4,500 per trip. "It will be really fantastic," said Liu. "It's a very exciting project: Chinese tourists spend a lot of money, it's traditional for them to give gifts to their friends and relatives when they go home. Others, however, are less enthusiastic about the prospect of an influx of Chinese tourists. "Our immigration people are very nervous about this, not just immigration people," said a Canadian official. "There are legitimate concerns about it." The first is the risk of overloading the visa section of the Canadian embassy in Beijing. "If they are overwhelmed with demands, the standards could fall," said the official.