Canada-China Year of Tourism kicks off

Updated 2018-03-23 10:57:05 China Daily

The Soul of Shaolin, a dramatic play with kung fu as its backdrop, is staged at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday in Toronto to celebrate the grand opening of the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China and Canada will strengthen cooperation and coordination in international affairs to usher in a new "golden decade" in bilateral relations.

Li made the remark in his greetings to the opening of the 2018 China-Canada Year of Tourism, launched in Toronto on Wednesday. The message was conveyed by China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye.

Li said tourism is "a window" for opening each country to the other and is important to bilateral cooperation. Li said he hoped that the two sides can work together to provide better services and environments for tourists and wished great success for the Tourism Year.

The premier said that the strategic partnership relationship between the two countries has been consolidated in the past few years and the results of the bilateral cooperation have continued to benefit people of the two countries.

Li said China will continue to work with Canada to continue different levels of exchanges to expand cooperation in business, science, education and culture.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered his greetings by video. He said the year is a milestone in the Canada-China relationship.

Bardish Chagger, Canadian minister of small business and tourism, said: "I am proud to take part in this fabulous opening ceremony. Canadian ties to China run deep-almost 1.8 million Canadians are of Chinese heritage and are an important part of the fabric of our diverse country. China is also our second-largest trade partner.

"Tourism is an important industry for both of our countries, and I look forward to the opportunities this year will create on both sides of the Pacific," Chagger added.

According to the minister, Canada has so much to offer as people are looking for unique and authentic experiences, including indigenous travel, she said.

"Canada welcomed a record number of Chinese visitors last year, and I expect that this year will break that record easily," she said.

In September 2016, Li and Trudeau announced the designation of 2018 as the China-Canada Tourism Year in China. The two sides agreed to expand cooperation on two-way tourist visits. They also set the target of doubling the scale of traveler interflow over 2015 levels by 2025.

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