The China-Canada Tourism Year 2018 was launched here Wednesday with an aim to strengthen cooperation between China and Canada in terms of tourism flows and investments.
An official ceremony was held at Toronto's Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts and attended by high-level officials and hundreds of representatives from the tourism industry in both countries.
Canadian Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger said at the ceremony that the tourism year will not only promote the industry, but also will boost mutual understanding and bilateral ties.
Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye told Xinhua that the tourism year is a milestone in the relationship between China and Canada.
Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum said the hosting of the Tourism Year program will open a new chapter of bilateral tourism exchange and cooperation and help advance bilateral relations.
Since China and Canada established diplomatic relations in 1970, the political, economic, trade and people-to-people bonds between the two countries have been deepened, yielding fruits that benefit both Chinese and Canadian people in various fields.
China is currently Canada's second largest trading partner. In 2017, more than 1.5 million visits were made between the two countries, promoting people-to-people exchanges and bilateral cooperation.
Canada has set a goal of doubling the number of Chinese tourists visiting Canada by 2021. It recently opened seven new visa application centers in China to facilitate trips of Chinese visitors.