Canada commences market readiness workshops to harness the full economic potential from Chinese arrivals

Tourism is an important economic driver and a fast-growing sector that supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada and the Government of Canada has launched a series of market readiness workshops to ensure the country harnesses the full economic potential of the growing Chinese outbound market.


Summary:

  • Canada has launched a series of market readiness workshops to ensure the country harnesses the full economic potential of the growing Chinese outbound market;
  • Tourism is an important economic driver and a fast-growing sector that supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada;
  • China is Canada’s second largest overseas source of tourists and in 2016 Chinese travellers contributed an estimated CAD1.488 billion to Canada’s tourism sector;
  • In the first six months of 2018, Canada welcomed over 300,000 tourists from China, a new record and up more than +9% compared to the same period in 2017.

Like so many countries across the globe, the Chinese outbound market presents significant growth opportunities for Canada’s tourism sector. It remains the world’s largest tourism source market and Chinese residents are the largest spenders in international tourism. In the first six months of 2018, Canada welcomed over 300,000 tourists from China, a new record and an increase of more than +9% compared to the same period in 2017.

To better support the tourism industry the government, in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), has announced that a series of up to 10 market readiness workshops on welcoming more tourists from China will take place across the country over the coming months.

These workshops, a key initiative of the Canada China Year of Tourism, will help Canadian businesses improve their understanding of what Chinese tourists are interested in seeing when they travel, keep abreast of the latest trends in the Chinese market, and identify ways to better adapt existing tourism products to the Chinese marketplace.

Priority for the workshops is being given to small and medium-sized enterprises in rural and remote areas that have an interest in expanding by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by this market. The first took place on 17-Oct-2018 in Iqaluit, Nunavut, during Small Business Week, an annual celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contributions to Canada’s economy.

The Canadian tourism sector includes over 206,000 businesses -representing 5% of all business establishments in Canada- and employs over 736,000 people. In 2014, 99.9% of tourism businesses were defined as being small and medium-sized enterprises.

China is Canada’s second largest overseas source of tourists and in 2016 Chinese travellers contributed an estimated CAD1.488 billion to Canada’s tourism sector. The Government has assigned CAD11 million in its 2018 budget to support the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.

Over the past ten years non-stop capacity between China and Canada has more than trebled from almost 445,000 one-way seats in 2012 to over 1.5 million last year. This will grow further to over 1.6 million for the current year, up +5.5% on 2017, based on current published schedules for the full year.

CHART – Over the past ten years non-stop capacity between China and Canada has more than trebledSource: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG

The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG schedule data shows the number of non-stop China – Canada city pairs has grown from four in 2012 to 15 in 2018, with nine cities in China now directly linked to Canada.

AirCanada is the largest operator in the China – Canada market with over a third (38.5% share) of this year’s annual one-way capacity. It is one of eight airlines serving the country pair, which also comprises China Eastern Airlines (17.1% share), Air China (15.7% share), China Southern Airlines (12.0% share), Hainan Airlines (9.4% share), Beijing Capital Airlines (2.8% share), Sichuan Airlines (2.4% share) and Xiamen Airlines (2.1% share)

The long-standing non-stop links to Beijing and Shanghai remain the largest markets for travel between China and Canada and still account for more than three quarters of one-way seats (a 77.5% share in 2018). That share though is slowly getting diluted as new non-stop markets are opened with additional Chinese cities – flights from Guangzhou were added in 2011, Shenyang in 2012, Chongqing, Nanjing, Qingdao and Xiamen in 2016 and Tianjin this year.