Richmond, BC, Canada (March 5, 2014) - For the first time in Canada, from March 10 to 13, 2014, Richmond, BC, will host the one-of-a-kind 6th Annual Active America-China Travel Summit enabling Richmond to showcase the area to over 50 influential China-based travel decision makers. As one of the fastest growing inbound tourism markets for Canada and Metro Vancouver, AA-China brings together North American travel suppliers with pre-qualified Chinese tour operators and travel agents looking to build mutually beneficial relationships. This year's record breaking attendance by North American tourism suppliers and Chinese buyers reflects the value of the Active America-China Travel Summit which is the only North American-based event totally dedicated to promoting inbound tourism from China.

"We feel very privileged to be the host city for this vital tourism marketing event which is attended by key China-based travel buyers - many of whom will experience Richmond and Greater Vancouver for the first time," said Tracy Lakeman, CEO of Tourism Richmond. "Canada and British Columbia continue to see double digit growth from this inbound market and hosting this event in Richmond will allow us to further strengthen our position as offering all the comforts of home, increase overall awareness of the destination and generate potential economic wealth for our city." Canada, British Columbia, Metro Vancouver and Richmond have all identified China as a key inbound market for growth and have been active in the market since Canada received Approved Destination Status in 2010.

As the home to the Vancouver International Airport, which boasts the largest year-round flight capacity between China and Canada, Richmond is the gateway to North America for Chinese travellers. Richmond has quickly gained recognition as the most Asian-friendly (over 45 per cent of the population is of Chinese descent) community in Canada that is able to easily and successfully cater to Chinese visitors travelling for leisure or educational pursuits, for real estate ventures or to conduct business. In recent years, Tourism Richmond has introduced a highly successful online training program for travel agents in China, known as the Richmond Agent Specialist Program, designed to increase travel agents' awareness of Richmond (almost 540 have graduated), conducted numerous in-market missions and launched a fully- translated website hosted in China.

The annual Active America-China Summit will be attended by close to 200 influential China-based tour operators who create unique programs/packages, travel agents and North American-based receptive tour operators and suppliers such as Destination Marketing Organizations, Convention and Visitor Bureaus, attractions and hotels looking to work collaboratively to attract Chinese travellers by providing attractive experiences. Designed to build relationships, activities include B2B appointments, networking, evening events held in partnership with Destination BC and the Canadian Tourism Commission, and to fully showcase the region, Chinese travel buyers are offered pre-familiarization (fam) trips around Richmond and Vancouver, and post-fams to Victoria, Whistler or on Via Rail's roundtrip journey to the Canadian Rockies.

The Chinese appetite for outbound travel remains unchanged. According to the World Tourism Organization, China will have 100 million international travellers by 2020. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that China is now the 5th largest tourism market source for the U.S. having delivered 1.3 million visitors in 2012 (a 30 per cent increase) which is great news for Canada when visitors from China are seeking two-nation vacations. In 2013, Canada welcomed approximately 365,314 overnight Chinese travellers (a 22.3 per cent increase over 2012), who injected over $486 million into Canada's tourism economy. 13 per cent of Chinese long-haul pleasure travellers have placed Canada on their top three travel destinations consideration list. With an average spend of $7,243 per trip in 2012 for hotels, food, and shopping (50 per cent more than other overseas travellers), Chinese visitors are an attractive travel group.

For more information visit: www.activeamericachina.net

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About Tourism Richmond

Tourism Richmond is a non-profit, membership driven destination marketing organization (DMO) whose primary mandate is to enhance awareness about the destination through sales and marketing initiatives and by providing excellent visitor and member services. Ultimately, Tourism Richmond's goal is to increase economic wealth related to tourism for the City of Richmond and all stakeholders. Tourism Richmond is British Columbia's fourth largest DMO and a former Venue City for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. For more information, visit www.tourismrichmond.com.

Media contacts:

Michelle Dunn
Director of Communications
Tourism Richmond
604-821-5481
mdunn@tourismrichmond.com
www.tourismrichmond.com

Jake Steinman
CEO and Founder
NAJ Group
415-339-0578
jake@northamericanjourneys.com
www.activeamericachina.net