High hotel prices and 'arduous' visa process keep Chinese tourists away: report
'Visitors sometimes cancel entire plans to visit Alberta when they are unable to obtain accommodations'
A shortage of reasonably priced hotel rooms in the Rocky Mountains during peak travel seasons is just one of the hurdles to increasing the number of Chinese tourists, according to a report released by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
"Destinations like Banff or Lake Louise experience high volumes of tourists during summer months, so hotels rooms are scarce and at a premium," the report says.
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"Visitors sometimes cancel entire plans to visit Alberta when they are unable to obtain accommodations in desirable destinations like Banff or Lake Louise."
The delegation that authored the report included representatives from Canadian lodges and resorts, the Calgary Stampede, Toronto's Mariposa Cruises and New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks.
The group visited the cities of Shanghai, Jinan, Hefei and Nanjing over 10 days last October.
The report noted that Canada is recognized in China for its safety, quality of hotels, variety of sightseeing options and "interesting food."
Tough to get a Canadian visa, says report
Ottawa needs to streamline its "arduous" visa application process if it wants to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Canada, the report says.
"We heard repeatedly that Chinese clients normally try to get a U.S. visa before they have the confidence to submit their applications for a Canadian visa."
The requirements to obtain Canadian visas are "cumbersome, lengthy and applications are often denied."
China became Canada's second biggest overseas inbound market in 2015, Tourism Industry Association of Canada. says. Last year there were more than 585,000 overnight arrivals from China, up 23 per cent from 2015.
But convenient air travel also remains a problem in some regions. Residents of Shandong province, for example, must travel to Shanghai or Beijing to access flights to Canada.
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