Tourism industry booming in Alberta

Travel Alberta's annual report shows record number of visitors and dollars spent in the province

Mario ToneguzziAlberta has experienced new records for tourism revenue and visitation, according to Travel Alberta’s 2017-18 annual report, which was released on Monday.

“Despite years of unprecedented economic pressure, Alberta’s travel economy continues to grow year over year. Our annual report showcases Travel Alberta’s success at creating momentum for tourism in the province, together with our stakeholders, industry partners and the government of Alberta,” said Bernie Kollman, chair of the Travel Alberta board of directors.

Booked room nights in Alberta rose to 1,605,300 in 2017-2018, up from 1,498,861 in 2016-2017.

Here are some of the key results for the industry that the report highlights:

  • $8.5 billion in revenues to Alberta’s travel economy in 2016 (latest available industry statistics), up 4.7 per cent over the previous year;
  • 34.8 million person-visits in 2016, a 2.1 per cent increase year over year;
  • over 2.6 million qualified travellers (direct leads to partners), almost 26 per cent more than in 2016-17;
  • more than 1.6 million booked room nights, up 10 per cent over 2016-17, and representing $895 million in revenue to the travel economy;
  • $85 million in tourism levy receipts collected by the Alberta government, almost nine per cent higher than in 2016-17.

“Our results reflect our ongoing efforts to find new and innovative ways to grow Alberta tourism in close collaboration with all industry players. We do this by investing in and supporting the development of new experiences throughout the province, positioning Alberta as a four-season destination and creating interest in lesser known parts of the province,” said Royce Chwin, CEO of Travel Alberta.

“We are focusing on generating another $1.5 billion of what we call ‘goosebump moments,’ or traveller adventures, to reach the province’s target of $10 billion by 2020. To achieve this, we are creating demand and developing new experiences for residents and international travellers alike. Whether you’re an Alberta resident looking for a unique ‘staycation’ idea or live on the other side of the world, there are a wealth of experiences, adventures and hidden gems just waiting to be discovered in all regions of the province.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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