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Advocacy in Action - September 14th

Advocacy in Action - September 14th
14 Sep 2023 by Jessica Ng

Over the past couple of years, Canada has seen far fewer Chinese visitors than normal due to pandemic-related restrictions. The Chinese government has been gradually lifting its ban on group travel to international destinations for a number of countries, including the US and UK, allowing Chinese and online travel agencies to book group tours and packages for Chinese visitors. However, Canada continues to be left off this list. 

TIAO is aware of the local economic impact that this is continuing to have on tourism operators that depend on the Chinese visitor market, which is normally a major contributor to visitor spend in the Ontario and Canadian tourism economy. Chinese visitors tend to stay longer, significantly boosting visitor spending: In 2019, Chinese visitors spent approximately $2 billion in Canada (averaging $2,900 per trip and staying for an average of 44 nights). In 2019, Chinese visitors spent $739 million in Ontario alone.  

However, since the ban, economic data indicates a 44% decrease in Chinese visitor spending in Ontario in 2022 compared to 2019, with even steeper declines of 73% observed in Ottawa and Countryside. Local attractions heavily dependent on tour group business, such as Yorkdale Mall, have suffered, with group-related retail sales virtually disappearing. Acknowledging and addressing the undeniable economic impact of China’s group travel ban on Canada are critical for our tourism industry and overall economy. TIAO has written to Minister Martinez Ferrada, the new federal Minister of Tourism, about this issue and are actively working with our federal partners. You can view our letter here

As always, thank you for your continued support. And of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at  


Dr. Jessica Ng, PhD 
Director, Policy & Government Affairs 
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)