Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger has concluded a six-day?federal, provincial, and territorial tourism trade mission to China. The trade mission took a delegation of provincial and territorial ministers and more than two dozen Canadian tourism businesses, including Indigenous tourism operators, to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai from June 23 to 28 for business development activities.?Accompanying the mission was?Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), and Parks Canada. In more than 400 encounters, delegates met with Chinese tourism operators, travel agents, business leaders, and government officials?to?build relationships with key stakeholders in the Chinese tourism market and showcase Canada's tourism offerings. Seven memoranda of understanding (MOU) and partnership agreements were signed, including an ITAC agreement with CYTS Sparkle Tours, a Chinese tour company,?that will increase the marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in Canada to visitors from China. The Canada-China Year of Tourism is nearing the halfway point; in the first four months of 2018, Canada welcomed more than 178,000 Chinese tourists, representing an increase of 23.9% compared to the same period in 2017. And for the first time ever, China has become the largest overseas market for tourists coming to Canada.