OTTAWA, June 22 -- The Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced Friday to add UnionPay as a new payment to make applying online more convenient and accessible for Chinese travellers.
UnionPay is the largest and most popular payment provider in China. It will make it even easier for more Chinese travelers to apply to visit Canada, said the ministry in a announcement.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen highlighted this initiative on the eve of a federal, provincial, territorial tourism trade mission to China led by Bardish Chagger, minister of Small Business and Tourism. Chagger will echo this announcement in China.
The new payment option is just one in a series of measures that the ministry has undertaken recently to facilitate travel for Chinese travellers.
2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism which follows a record year for the number of applications processed in China. Chinese citizens accounted for 23 percent of all temporary resident visa applications that the ministry received in 2017.
The number of Chinese visitors have been increasing in past years. In 2017 alone, this number jumped by 18 percent. This increase in Chinese visitors contributed nearly 1.25 billion Canadian dollars (about 1 billion U.S. dollars) to Canada's economy, an amount that is expected to grow significantly over the next four years. (Xinhua)