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China grants Canada approved destination status

China gave approved destination status (ADS) to Canada after Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing December 3. This opens the gates for tourists from China to travel to Canada.

"Approved destination status marks a significant moment in the history of our relations with China, indicating not only our mutual commitment to strengthening our diplomatic and commercial partnerships, but also our people-to-people ties," said Harper in statement released by his office on Thursday. "This will help Chinese tourists to know Canada is one of the best environments for investment, innovation and employment when they come to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics in February."

According to the Canadian prime minister's office, nearly 160,000 Chinese travelers visited Canada last year. Chinese visitors had the highest average length of stay in Canada – 28 nights – and spent more than visitors from any other country, nearly CAN$1,650 ($1,554) each.

According to a Conference Board of Canada survey, ADS is expected to boost the yearly rate of travel to Canada from China by up to 50 per cent by 2015.