SHANGHAI (GNB) – Members of a trade mission to China are promoting New Brunswick as a unique tourism destination. This year, 2018, has been designated as the Canada-China Year of Tourism.

“New Brunswick offers experiences you cannot get anywhere else,” said Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, who, along with Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, is leading the multi-sector mission. “Whether it is the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy or the unique seafood experiences, we offer our visitors memories that last a lifetime.”

Doucet spoke on behalf of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames.

Delegates from that department met with representatives of 12 travel corporations to promote building itineraries specifically for Chinese visitors to the province. The delegation also met with several members of the travel media to help generate interest in New Brunswick’s attractions.

China is now the second-largest overseas market for travellers coming to Canada. Between January and October 2017, more than 600,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. That rate of increase is expected to double in 2018.

“The people we meet are excited when we talk about all there is to see and do in New Brunswick,” said Doucet. “Growing our tourism market helps create jobs, grow our province’s economy, and pay for important services like education and health care.”

To mark the Canada-China Year of Tourism, the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has undertaken several initiatives, including a partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Grade 12 students at China’s Concord College of Sino-Canada, which offers the New Brunswick curriculum, are participating in a video contest for a chance to win a family vacation to New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy will invest $100 million in tourism over the next five years, with a goal of growing tourism-related GDP to $2 billion by 2025. Tourism has been identified as a key opportunity for growth in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. Tourism visitor spending is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the third-largest service sector in the province.