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TOURISM VANCOUVER SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH TOURISM GUANGZHOU

Vancouver, BC (November 7, 2013): Tourism industry professionals from Vancouver and Guangzhou signed a five-year commitment yesterday to share research, compare best practices, and provide mutual support for continued efforts to drive tourism demand between the sister cities.

Tourism is a vital industry for Vancouver with an estimated value of $6.1 billion. It produces 69,000 jobs in the city and provides annual taxes to all levels of government of $1.51 billion.

In 2012, Vancouver welcomed more than 8.3 million overnight visitors, and that number will continue to increase through 2013 and 2014. China is rapidly growing as a key tourism market, and in 2014 is expected to be Vancouver's second largest source of international visitors, after the U.S.

Tourism Vancouver's recent ambassador campaign in China with celebrity singer/songwriter Wanting Qu is a testament to Vancouver's growing presence in the region. A successful video series featuring Qu experiencing her favourite Vancouver activities is now the most viewed video about Canada in the travel category on Youku (China's equivalent to YouTube). The campaign's contest website has generated more than 20 million clicks to date.

"Entering into a memorandum of understanding with Tourism Guangzhou will deepen our insights and understanding into the characteristics and motivations of Chinese travelling internationally," said Jonas Melin, first deputy chair of Tourism Vancouver's Board of Directors. "In turn, we look forward to assisting our colleagues at Tourism Guangzhou with access to the North American market through Vancouver - which has more direct flights to China than any other city in the Americas."

Mayor Gregor Robertson was on hand to witness the signing along with his counterpart from
the City of Guangzhou. "Vancouver has a long and distinguished sister city relationship with
Guangzhou, and we're pleased to be strengthening those ties even more," said Mayor Robertson. "This tourism agreement is another important step in opening up business opportunities between our two cities, which will benefit trade, investment and tourism."