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VANCOUVER'S CHINA TOURISM AMBASSADOR HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIFE CONNECTING HER CHINESE FANS TO THE CITY

VANCOUVER, BC (June 25th, 2013): Just a few months into her role as Vancouver's official Tourism Ambassador to China, celebrity singing sensation, Wanting Qu has hugged a Beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, zip-lined at Grouse Mountain, sped around Vancouver Harbour on a sea safari, jetted by helicopter to a mountain peak, walked the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and dined on the freshest of B.C. seafood and ice wine.

And now, Wanting will share her experiences with her Chinese fans through a new website, video series and social media contest that Tourism Vancouver launches today in China at www.QuWantingVancouver.cn.

Tourism Vancouver announced 29-year-old singer/songwriter Wanting Qu as the destination's first ever Tourism Ambassador to China in February, 2013. A Harbin native, Wanting moved to Vancouver at the age of 16 where she discovered her passion for music alongside Vancouver's mountains, forests and ocean. A talented musician, Wanting was signed by Vancouver-based record label Nettwerk and her first album, Everything In The World, went triple-platinum in China within its first week. Her highly anticipated sophomore album will launch in China through Nettwerk / Universal Music later this year.

Chinese fans of Wanting and her music are encouraged to enter the "Win a Trip to Vancouver with Wanting Qu" contest at www.QuWantingVancouver.cn or through Sina Weibo (China's equivalent of Twitter). Four winners will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Vancouver in 2014 to meet Wanting who will share her favourite spots around the city and introduce Vancouver's outdoor adventures, fresh foods and arts and culture scene. One lucky winner will be announced each month from August through November, 2013.

"Vancouver is a magical place. It has helped me be a more creative artist and I want to share that with my fans," said Wanting. "This adventure will be a special moment for me as I get to share all that I have come to love about Vancouver as a way of giving back to my fans."

"Vancouver's natural beauty inspires visitors from around the world," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We are very proud to be a creative gateway to talented artists like Wanting, and we hope our Chinese visitors will find as much here to inspire them as she does."

"We are thrilled that Wanting will be sharing our beautiful city with her fans," remarked Tourism Vancouver's board chair, Bob Lindsay. "She is the perfect ambassador for our Chinese guests who are looking for the unique experiences and natural splendour that Vancouver offers."

The China Tourism Ambassador campaign is just one of the many initiatives Tourism Vancouver has underway in China, one of Vancouver's fastest growing visitor markets. With an overnight visitor volume of 150,000 in 2012, visitation is expected to grow by a further 13% in 2013. Tourism Vancouver's strategy in China is to focus on high-end independent and incentive travel, in concert with partners Whistler, Victoria, Destination British Columbia, Canadian Tourism Commission and the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association.