According to Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, the Chinese government has approved Canada as one of its outbound tourism destinations.
Stephen Harper announced this news after his meeting with the Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, in Beijing.
Harper stated Approved Destination Status indicates that, not only are China and Canada committed to strengthening diplomatic and commercial partnerships, but people-to-people ties of the two countries are also strengthening.
In 2008, visits to Canada by Chinese citizens were up 5.3% from the previous year, with a total of 159,000 visitors. Statistics show that Chinese tourists to Canada stayed longer (28 nights), and spent more money, than visitors from any other country. According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, ADS is expected to boost the yearly rate of travel to Canada from China by up to 50% by 2015.