Cape Breton University (CBU) congratulates Premier Stephen McNeil on the recent announcement that China Southern Airlines will begin direct flights to Nova Scotia. “As China’s middle class have become the largest source of international travellers in the world, we have not had the opportunity to see significant direct benefits in this region, with most inbound traffic being to British Columbia and Ontario,” says David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor of CBU, as well as a former member of the Canada China Business Council. He adds, “This type of agreement is very advantageous and can be a game-changer for the Nova Scotia tourism sector.”
In 2019, CBU launched the World Tourism Institute with the purpose of building upon existing industry and community collaboration for the purpose of tourism excellence. “Imagine if we can pair the growing demand and awareness of our seafood exports to China, with an invitation to experience Canada’s Ocean Playground through non-stop service to Halifax. The benefits for Nova Scotia and for China are ideal, but the relationship must be fostered and this is an excellent step.”
CBU has been active in the Chinese market for more than two decades, with academic partnerships in both countries. Currently, Chinese students in the MBA in Community Economic Development program through the Shannon School of Business are researching social media marketing for inbound Chinese tourists, assessments to barriers to increasing tourism, and how they can marry their knowledge of the cultures of both countries to grow tourism in Nova Scotia.
In October, for the first time, CBU’s World Tourism Institute designed and implemented a familiarization tour for 125 first-year, Bachelor of Hospitality Tourism Management students, bringing them to several attractions, operations and facilities throughout the Island. The purpose was two-fold. The students, from six countries, the majority of whom were from China, were introduced to the world-class attraction that is Cape Breton Island, and the industry was introduced to 125 potential ambassadors, social marketers, and potential future employees.
“Allowing for a direct flight from China to Nova Scotia will certainly enable tourists, entrepreneurs, and others to experience all that Nova Scotia has to offer, and is a major step in the right direction,” says Dingwall. “Cape Breton University, and our World Tourism Institute, are ready, willing and able to help the Province of Nova Scotia meet, and exceed their goal of 50,000 Chinese tourists by 2024, and we salute Premier McNeil for the foresight to make this monumental move for our Province.”