China, Canada forge strong tourism links under ADS agreement: officials

20:55, August 24, 2010      

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The first visit of Chinese tourists under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement helped open a "new chapter of friendship" between China and Canada, a Chinese official said Monday.

"Our inaugural tour group experienced the warmth and friendship of our Canadian friends during our stay in Canada. We enjoyed Canada's gorgeous natural scenery, rich cultural heritage and colorful city life and experienced the friendship of the hospitable Canadian people," Du Jiang, vice chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), said.

At a banquet hosted by the governments of Ontario province and Ottawa city, Du said he expects Chinese tourism to increase now that the ADS has been granted.

"I am convinced that with Canada's attractive tourism resources and products, well-established tourism facility and quality tourism services, Chinese tourists will feel at home in Canada," Du said.

While Chinese are expected to make about 100 million trips abroad annually by the year 2015, he said, the Chinese government now sees tourism as an important part of the economy as China is increasingly becoming an attractive tourist destination for foreigners.

"The Chinese government has decided to turn the tourism industry into a strategic pillar industry for the national economy and a modern services industry to the greater satisfaction of the people," Du said.

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