VANCOUVER, BC (February 14, 2013): Tourism Vancouver is pleased to announce that Chinese singer-songwriter Wanting Qu will be Vancouver's first-ever tourism ambassador in Mainland China.

The young Vancouver-based artist has reached stardom in China with her debut album Everything In The World achieving triple platinum, and her hit song "Drenched" topping the charts for weeks. Qu swept the board at the 2012 Chinese Music Awards and proudly took home the Best Album of the Year award at the 2012 Beijing Billboard Music Newcomers Festival. A testament to her amazing year, Qu was invited to perform last weekend on China's CCTV New Year Gala, the most watched television program in the world with over 700 million viewers. 

Although born in Harbin, China, Wanting honed her craft in Vancouver where at the age of 16 she started composing her own music. She's a passionate fan of the city and looks forward to producing a series of videos that feature the destination through her eyes. The videos will focus on winter and summer adventures, sustainability, health and lifestyle, culture and cuisine.

As part of this exciting new ambassador relationship, Tourism Vancouver will be awarding four lucky fans from China a trip of a lifetime to join Wanting for special excursions to both Vancouver and Whistler.

"We are thrilled that a star of Wanting's calibre is so excited about inviting fans to our city," remarked Tourism Vancouver's board chair, R. Gordon Johnson. "She's the perfect ambassador for the type of visitor from China who is looking for the unique experiences and sense of place that Vancouver offers."  

"Wanting is representative of the incredibly talented overseas Chinese who are part of Vancouver," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We are proud to be a growing global hub for creative talent and I extend my thanks to Wanting for sharing her enthusiasm for Vancouver in China."

Qu, who has just returned home from China, shared her passion for Vancouver: "Vancouver allows my mind to breath, be at ease, think and be creative. It's very good for song writing."

China is 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 16% in 2013.  Tourism Vancouver's strategy in China is to focus on high-end independent and incentive travel; in concert with partners Whistler, Victoria and the Province of British Columbia.

Tourism Vancouver's focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists.