Agreement to Promote NWT in China Caps Successful Trade Mission

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BEIJING (June 28, 2018) — Canada’s spectacular Northwest Territories will soon be receiving increased promotion and exposure in the world’s largest marketplace.

Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Wally Schumann was among those on hand Sunday to witness the signing of a marketing agreement between NWT Tourism — the NWT’s official destination marketing organization, and Flow Creative - a China-based creative agency.  Federal Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Bardish Chagger, was also in attendance.

Flow Creative Marketing Limited is a full-service marketing agency with a presence in Beijing.  They will work on NWT Tourism’s behalf in China to build value and visitation for the sights, stories, and cultures of the NWT.  The signing comes as part of a week-long federal trade mission celebrating 2018 as the Canada-China Year of Tourism. 

Members of the NWT delegation, which includes four NWT-based tourism companies, are also taking part in presentations and workshops to increase their understanding of Chinese tourism commerce.  They participated in Chinese “Canada Day” celebrations (June 23rd) and are conducting business-to-business “Match-Making Sessions” to advance relationships with major players in the Chinese travel trade market. 

For Minister Schumann, a full-slate of meetings and engagements has further strengthened the relationship which has seen visitors to the NWT from China increase more than threefold.

Government representation is essential to bringing credibility to trade efforts in China. It is crucial to building a platform where tourism operators and destination markets can access the massive potential of China’s tourism market.

As the territory’s largest industry outside the resource sector, tourism offers the prime opportunity to bring greater economic diversity to the NWT. Supporting these kinds of opportunities is central to the GNWT’s mandate for the 18th Assembly.


“As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism, the tourism trade mission to China is a tremendous opportunity for our federal, provincial and territorial partners and Canadian tourism businesses to build relationships that will lead to new and exciting business opportunities. This new partnership between NWT Tourism and Flow Creative is a great example of how we are strengthening our business-to-business connections in this key market.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“I’m pleased to see this mission result in a finalized partnership with a crucial local ally who will bring the knowledge and experience to successfully push our spectacular territory to China’s expansive pool of potential visitors. I’m looking forward to the smiling faces of new tourists experiencing the dancing aurora or pristine wilderness for the first time, and the opportunities they will bring our local industry.”
Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

“Having this opportunity to travel with our federal and territorial Ministers is very valuable for our territory and industry. We are excited to have established in-market representation in China, but are also pumped about working with the broader business community in the NWT when we are home, not only to grow Chinese visitation across the territory, but to help the business community embrace tools that will grow expenditure by Chinese visitors when they are in our destination.”
Cathie Bolstad, Chief Executive Officer of NWT Tourism

“Blachford Lake Lodge is honoured to be a part of this delegation to China. With the support of the Federal Government, GNWT and NWTT, we are excited to continue growing as a destination within the Chinese market, and expanding our knowledge of this valuable international clientele. We look forward to working with our fellow delegates and local partners to bring further visitation from China to our beautiful territory.”
Katherine Johnson, Sales & Marketing Manager, Blachford Lake Lodge

“The opportunity to take part in this trade mission to China is very important for NWT businesses especially in smaller communities. While the Chinese market has been very strong in Yellowknife, visitors are also looking for supplemental products outside of the Capital.  This trade mission is a chance to showcase these products to one of the largest tourism markets in the world.”
Kylik Kisoun Taylor, Tundra North Tours 

“As the pioneer of the Aurora tourism focus in the Chinese market, Yellowknife Tours Ltd. is thrilled to see the significant numbers of Chinese visitors visiting Yellowknife and the NWT.  We look forward to working as a team in the tourism industry to build a positive branding in China.”
Verda Law Yellowknife Tours Ltd.

Quick Facts:

  • China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market with 142.7m trips in 2017.
  • Preliminary estimates for the first quarter of 2018 (January-March) show 131,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada, representing 25.6% growth over the same period in 2017.
  • The NWT’s presence reflects the territory’s commitment to supporting the Government of Canada’s effort to encourage more Chinese visitors to choose Canada.
  • The trade mission saw the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment work closely with NWT Tourism to advocate for the NWT’s tourism interests.
  • Between 2013-14 and 2016-17, tourists visiting the NWT from China grew from 1,800 people to 6,200, with an annual growth rate of 55% during this period.
  • The NWT’s tourism industry reached records of $201.40 million and 93,910 visitors in 2016-2017.

Relevant links:

Media contacts:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092

Mike Westwick
Communications Officer
Government of the Northwest Territories
Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
Ph: 867-767-9202 ext. 63039

Cathie Bolstad
Executive Director
NWT Tourism
Ph: 867-873-5007