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China Fuels Canadian Tourism Industry’s Rise to Pre-Recession Levels


CTC Tourism Snapshot infographic for January 2012 (Source: Canadian Tourism Commission)

A 2011 Travel Snapshot released by Visa Inc. last week reported that spending (among Visa account holders) in Canada and the U.S. was nearing pre-recession levels by the end of 2011, with a notable increase in Chinese tourists to Canada.

The survey, of Visa account holders travelling to and from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, showed that 2011 spending by Canadian tourists outpaced that of Americans (an 11 per cent increase from 2010, as opposed to a 7 per cent increase for U.S. travellers), indicating that Canadians are feeling confident about spending again. (more…)

Hot Date: China’s Guangzhou Ballet

OCTOBER 18 The contemporary dance of China steps delicately into Toronto this month, as the Guangzhou Ballet presents its exquisite Return on a Snowy Night. This four-act ballet spins a mystical story about a 20-year relationship between a Peking opera singer and the concubine of a high-ranking official. Incorporating traditional Chinese dance and opera along with more exploratory, modern elements, the production evokes a dramatic range of emotions while the dancers’ precise movements relate a poignant love story. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $45 to $175; call 1-855-872-7669 or visit here for more information and to buy.

Interview With Travelfix Blogger Timothy Chan

Timothy Chan in India earlier this year.

Timothy Chan has traveled all over the world: India, China, Uganda, and Peru, just to name a few. He started tracking his experiences and inspirations on his travel blog, travelfix.ca over a year ago, and has been working at Gap Adventures Toronto HQ as a Public Relations Specialist for about a year. Travel, for Toronto-raised Chan, is a way to immerse himself in a “completely foreign country where chaos reigns and the culture, food, transportation, language and everything in between are virtually unfamiliar.”


Hot Dining: A Taste of China

Lauded by Where to Eat in Canada as “the best Chinese restaurant in Halifax,” Cheelin is one of those rare restaurants adored by neighbourhood regulars and visitors alike. The Lower Water Street restaurant serves Szechuan and Beijing cuisine betwixt the worn stone walls of the historic Brewery Market building. The Friday buffet lunch is a favourite of the downtown business crowd.

Hot Date: Shen Yun’s Asian Artistry

JANUARY 13 TO 16 Travel through five thousand years of Chinese history with Shen Yun Performing Arts. The renowned troupe explores the country’s diverse regions and the legends underpinning its culture with a program that combines traditional dance and music with beautiful costumes and impressively elaborate settings projected on a six-storey 3D backdrop. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Thursday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., $60 to $280; call 416-248-1168 or click here for more information.

Hot Art: Warrior Emperor Invades the ROM

A full-size terracotta "armoured general" (photo © Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau)

OPENS JUNE 26 Deep within China’s northern Shaanxi province 2,200 years ago, Emperor Ying Zheng was laid to rest in a tomb surrounded by nearly 8,000 life-sized warriors and military horses fashioned in clay. Uncovered in 1974 and considered one of history’s greatest archeological finds, artifacts from this UNESCO World Heritage Site have now marched into the Royal Ontario Museum. Its landmark exhibition, The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army, presents more than 250 pieces related to this ruler, including 10 full warrior figures, each a unique example of craftsmanship and preservation. The Emperor’s enormous tomb was originally constructed to reflect his achievements, and the ROM’s exhibit—the largest such display ever to be shown in North America—is sure to maintain that legacy.