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Beijing Bars Chinese Tour Groups from Visiting Canada

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Chinese Tour Groups Canada

China has relaxed prohibitions on group excursions to a number of nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, but not Canada. It signals a deterioration in relations in the aftermath of Canada’s recent charges that Beijing meddled in its domestic politics.

According to Chinese officials, Canada was barred due to accusations of foreign meddling. The travel ban has the potential to have a substantial impact on Canada’s tourism economy.

In the years preceding the Covid epidemic, Chinese tourists were reported to have injected more than C$1 billion (£580 million; $740 million) into the Canadian economy.

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism controls which countries Chinese tour companies can visit, citing the need to protect people travelling overseas. However, it has also been considered as a political weapon for advancing China’s foreign policy goal.

China added 78 countries to its list of permitted group vacation destinations this week, Canada was excluded, but including other important G20 countries such as the United States, Germany, Australia, and South Korea. Currently, 138 countries are on the list.

China’s embassy in Ottawa stated in a statement that it was concerned that “the Canadian side has repeatedly hyped up the so-called ‘Chinese interference.'”

According to the statement, Beijing is concerned with “protecting the safety and legitimate rights of overseas Chinese citizens and wishes they can travel in a safe and friendly environment.”

The two countries’ diplomatic relations deteriorated drastically earlier this year. It occurred amid a succession of leaks to Canadian media of allegations from domestic intelligence services alleging Chinese meddling in recent federal elections.

more and more chinese are visiting canada thanks to eased travel restrictions and stronger yuan

Canada has also accused Beijing of attempting to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and conducting a disinformation campaign against him on the popular Chinese messaging platform WeChat.

Some of the claims led to the expulsion of Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei from Canada in May. China removed Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, Canada’s diplomat at its Shanghai embassy, in retaliation.

According to Destination Canada, which promotes tourism in the country, China is the largest source of visitor arrivals from the Asia-Pacific area. It is also its second-largest long-distance market behind the United Kingdom.

According to a 2021 research by the Canada China Business Council, over 700,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada in 2018, with each visitor spending an average of C$2,600.

The business organisation said at the time that bilateral tensions rendered the future of Chinese tourism to Canada “uncertain,” citing “comments made by Chinese officials alluded to the contingency of Chinese tourism on positive relations.”

The first group trips from China to Canada were permitted in 2010, which increased air travel and tourism between the two countries.

canada Huawei

Bilateral ties took a setback in 2018 when Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was jailed in Canada at the request of the United States. Soon after, two Canadians were apprehended in China, a move considered as “hostage diplomacy” by Canada and its allies.

According to the Canada China Business Council, the number of Chinese visitors visiting Canada decreased in 2019.

Ms. Meng and both men were released in 2021 after reaching an agreement with US authorities. Early this year, China began loosening pandemic travel restrictions for both visitors and locals.

Meanwhile, according to a recent survey conducted by the state-run Global Times, Canada, which was previously a popular travel destination among Chinese people, has now become China’s least favourite country.

The study, conducted by the Global Times Research Centre in collaboration with market research firm DATA100, garnered 2,148 responses from 16 Chinese cities. According to the survey, only 0.4% of respondents prefer Canada.

Singapore, on the other hand, had a positive response from 14% of participants, placing it first on the list alongside China. Germany, France, the United States, Russia, and the Maldives were the next most popular countries.

Singapore was also the country that the most Chinese people indicated they wanted to visit (17.1%), followed by the Maldives and France. According to previous data collected since 2018, the island city-state did not even make the top six till recently.

The survey findings reflect the ongoing conflict between Ottawa and Beijing.

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