China releases list of approved destination for foreign travel, excludes Canada

China’s foreign ministry on 10 August released a list of approved foreign destinations for group tour of Chinese nationals. The list holds importance as touring companies in the east Asian country work from this list when they promote and book foreign travel for Chinese nationals.

The statement released by Chinese foreign ministry said that they have added 78 new countries to the list. However, Canada was quick to notice, they did not make the cut. 

According to a report by CBC News, China has cited Canada’s alleged increased criticism of the Xi Jinping led government and ‘Chinese interference’ and rampant and discriminatory anti-Asian acts and words are rising significantly in Canada” for the step. 

This could come a blow to the Canadian economy which is still going through its post-pandemic recovery phase. 

The CBC report notes that, prior to the covid-19 pandemic and the induced lockdown, outbound tourism from China was a valuable international commodity. 

Statistics from the World Tourism Organization suggest Chinese travellers spent $255 billion in 2019, accounting for 20 per cent of all international tourism spending.

Notably, before the pandemic restrained residents in China to their homes, roughly 60% of Chinese tourists’ spending abroad went to group tours.

While China battles a deflation, casting aspersions on its hold as the second largest economy of the world, the announcement made on Thursday might encourage the second most populous country’s residents to pack their suitcases and take a trip. 

According to the CBC report, China was Canada’s largest source of tourist arrivals from the Asia-Pacific region, and Canada’s second-largest long-haul market after the UK. China also used to account for the largest tourist spend for Canada. 

The United States was included in China’s approved lists of international group travels. This list is indicative of the fact that Beijing’ even though has been tight about its gates and borders, will encourage its residents to spend money beyond the country. 

The CBC report notes that a total of 138 countries now have approval from China. this includes US, Germany, UK Thailand, Russia, Cuba, Argentina, Nepal, France, Portugal, and Brazil among others. 

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Updated: 17 Aug 2023, 06:12 PM IST