Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

October 11, 2011 13:30 ET

Edmonton Signs Cooperation Agreement With Harbin

Sister cities to enhance tourism, business relationships

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2011) - Edmonton and Harbin, its sister city in China, have signed a cooperation agreement which will see both sides collaborate on tourism and business initiatives.

The agreement was made official when Deputy Mayor Ben Henderson recently led a mission to Harbin to attend the "2011 Harbin-North America Business for the Future" forum. Also attending the September 19-22 mission was Ken Fiske, vice-president of tourism and special events at Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

While there, Edmonton and Harbin officials discussed the Harbin's plans to create an annual World Cities Ice and Snow Tourism Congress. While Harbin's plans await the Chinese government's approval, the two cities will learn from each other's best practices and promote further collaboration with each other. Harbin is home to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, acknowledged as one of the world's finest.

"There is much we, as winter cities, can share with and learn from each other," says Henderson. "Relationship-building is key to the Chinese, and we are building on past interactions and successes. This recent visit and agreement will take our special relationship to the next level."

For Edmonton, the agreement formalizes the marketing of our city as a tourist destination in Harbin and opens the doors for future Chinese investment in Edmonton. In addition, as a fellow winter city, Edmonton can learn about how Harbin celebrates its winters for residents and visitors.

Canada was granted Approved Destination Status by the Chinese government in 2010, which makes it easier for Chinese citizens to visit Canada and for the Canadian tourism industry to market Canada to China.

Edmonton Tourism promotes Greater Edmonton as the destination of choice for tourism, conventions, major events and film production and is a division of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). Edmonton Tourism encourages socially and environmentally responsible tourism. For more information, visit www.edmonton.com. Learn more about Edmonton through the stories of people who've experienced it at www.edmontonstories.ca.

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