Nova Scotia aims to attract more tourism from China
From the bustling streets of Beijing, to the tranquility of the Cabot trail. The two are half-a-world apart, and about as different too.
But international student Xin Li who has been living in Sydney for seven months says she thinks people from her home country would visit here.
"I think just like me, they will enjoy the quietness of small towns, the beauty of nature," says Li.
From the Far East to the East Coast; Nova Scotia is trying to attract more tourism from China, spending $150,000 to expand its marketing presence in Beijing.
"I think that the China market is absolutely the market that we should be looking at," says Mary Tulle of Destination Cape Breton.
Tulle says China is currently the number two market in international visitors to Canada, a market her agency wants to tap into.
One idea is to partner with Cape Breton University and train Chinese students to be tour guides.
"We know that Chinese tourists are coming now, we know that there are 25 tour operators and tour wholesalers that are already coming to Nova Scotia, and 15 of those to Cape Breton island," says Tulle.
Tourism Nova Scotia is expanding its marketing presence in Beijing in the form of a $150,000, one year contract with a media capital in the Chinese capital.
It's an investment in what the province calls a lucrative tourism market, that it's hoping will pay off sooner than later.
"We're hoping for this tourism season, next tourism season. Obviously we're on the trajectory to get $4 billion in revenue, we need that Chinese market," says Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
Of course they have to make it as easy as possible to get here. The closest economy flight from China lands in Montreal. There is now a direct flight between Beijing and Halifax, but it's only for the lobster industry.
"I think it works in both directions. I think business relationships will turn into tourism opportunities, and tourism visitors will materialize into business investments," says MacLellan.
"We have outdoor, we have nature, so we understand who the Chinese visitor is, and what they're looking for," says Tulle.
2018 has been declared by both countries' governments as 'the year of Canada-Chinese tourism'. So it's hoped these new Bluenose promotions in Beijing will be as effective as they are timely.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald.