The B.C. economy will benefit from recent federal changes to the China Transit Program that make it easier for airlines to carry eligible Chinese passengers through Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business Naomi Yamamoto announced today.
On May 19, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander announced changes to the China Transit Program (CTP) that allows eligible Chinese travellers to fly to and transit through Canada visa-free when they are en route to and from the United States. Adding the Seoul and Tokyo airports to this program benefits YVR with increased air service and passenger growth, including additional revenue for the airport through landing fees and spending by travellers. It also supports YVR’s goal to become a world-class sustainable connecting hub.
The federal government has committed to look at further expansion of transit programs and is assessing the eligibility of other departure cities in China, with the potential to generate an additional 50 flights a week between China and the Americas through Vancouver. The result would be an additional 2,800 jobs and $167.5 million in gross domestic product to the B.C. economy over the next five years.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business ─
“Tourism in B.C. is booming and accounts for 4% of the province’s total GDP. In 2014 we saw overnight entries from China alone up 26.2% compared to 2013. Ongoing expansion of visa-free transiting programs improves air access for our tourism industry as well as secures flights between YVR and emerging tourism markets in Asia.”
Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority ─
“This is a huge step in the right direction for YVR, British Columbia and Canada. The expansion of the China Transit Program will make YVR more attractive to transiting travellers and ultimately increase YVR's air service and passenger growth. YVR's goal is to connect B.C. proudly to the world by becoming a world-class sustainable connecting hub. We will continue to work closely with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Border Services Agency and our other industry partners to progressively expand visa-free transit to the U.S. and eventually between Asia and Latin America.”
Tourism’s Economic Contribution
- Tourism is an important economic driver for B.C. In 2013, total revenues for the tourism sector were $13.9 billion dollars.
- In 2013, Tourism GDP grew slightly more than the B.C. economy as a whole.
- Tourism generated a direct contribution to B.C.’s gross domestic product of $7.3 billion, accounting for 4% of the province’s total GDP - an increase of 2% over last year.
- In 2013, the tourism sector employed 132,200 British Columbians, that’s about one in every 15 jobs in B.C.
- In 2013, the tourism industry paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries to tourism workers, an increase of 3.8% over the year before.
- There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C., and over 17,000 (almost 93%) are small businesses with less than 50 employees.
- Industry projects the number of positions in the tourism and hospitality sector will increase from 255,860 in 2010 to 300,080 by 2020 -meaning more than 44,000 new jobs will be added to B.C.’s economy.
- Over the same period, industry indicates there will be more than 57,000 openings in the tourism and hospitality sector as a result of replacement needs.
- Industry therefore projects that the total number of openings by 2020 will be more than 101,000 - that’s 10 % of all expected job openings in the province by that year.
Super Natural British Columbia, Canada: http://www.hellobc.com/
YVR - Vancouver International Airport: http://www.yvr.ca/
China Transit Program: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/ctp/eligibility.asp
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour