Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare will join a provincial trade mission to China this month, in her role as minister of tourism, arts and culture.
Beare said she will be championing Canada and B.C. as travel destinations for Chinese tourists.
“I’m excited to get over there and promote B.C.,” said Beare, who leaves on Jan. 20.
She said the Chinese are the second largest visitor group to B.C. The U.S. is first, and visitors from the U.K. have been recently passed by those from China for second.
“Mostly, they like getting out in the outdoors,” she said, adding that grizzly bear viewing, skiing and farm-to-table tours are popular activities.
Tourism generates $14.6 billion in revenue in B.C. each year according to Destination BC.
Beare will be part of the first four days of the province’s entire trip to Asia, coming back to B.C. after the visit to China.
Premier John Horgan and the rest of the delegation will continue on to South Korea and Japan on a trade mission that will take a total of 10 days. Bruce Ralston, the minister of jobs, trade and technology, and George Chow, the minister of state for trade, will travel with Horgan to all three countries.
Beare noted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared 2018 the Canada-China Year of Tourism, and the government of China has done likewise. The government of Canada set a goal of doubling the number of Chinese tourists coming to Canada by 2021. In 2016 that number was 610,000.
It is the first trip to Asia since the NDP took over government last summer.