In an effort to attract more tourism from China, Richmond is playing host to over 50 influential Chinese tourism operators during the 6th annual Active America-China Travel Summit.
Richmond, the first Canadian city to ever host the summit, kicked off with a welcoming reception that included members from all three levels of local government, as well as the United States and China.
"Tourism from China is the fastest growing segment of the Canadian tourism market and our city is committed to being the partner of choice to meet their needs," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie at the welcoming event.
"Very significantly, we have strong cultural ties to Asia, as so many of our residents are of Chinese descent."
Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat told the visiting dignitaries that, "I'm sure this summit will lead to even more culture exchange, more tourists, and more economic exchange between our province, our country, and China."
Continuing along the theme of strengthening economic and cultural ties between Richmond and China, Conservative MP Alice Wong told the crowd that she was influential in getting Canada "Approved Destination Status" from the Chinese government.
"When I joined the Prime Minister, in 2009 to visit Beijing, the next day we were given Approved Destination Status, which has increased our visitors from China. For last year alone, we got a 24 per cent increase."