CALGARY – World Tourism Day is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on tourism and remind the world of the sector’s significant contribution to the global economy. Travel Alberta is recognizing this important day by highlighting the economic value of tourism for Alberta, and the work being done with tourism partners in every corner of the province to rebuild the industry, support community recovery, and spur job creation.
“As Alberta moves forward, we are focusing on our province’s economic strengths and opportunities to get Albertans back to work. Alberta’s tourism industry is an important part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and will play a central role in the province’s economic success. I encourage all Albertans to take advantage of World Tourism Day and safely explore a new corner of our province this Sunday,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s tourism industry generated $8.9 billion in revenue, supporting 22,000 businesses, and generating nearly 73,000 jobs in communities throughout the province. Today, it is a very different story, with traveller spending to Alberta forecast to fall to $3.5 billion in 2020—a 63 per cent drop compared to 2019—and an estimated 30,000 jobs lost.
“The pandemic is the travel sector’s worst crisis of the modern era. But in trademark fashion, Alberta tourism organizations and businesses are meeting the challenge head-on, with resilience and resolve,” said Chris Heseltine, acting CEO, Travel Alberta.
In support of World Tourism Day 2020, a few Alberta tourism operators share their thoughts on the industry’s resilience, state of the visitor economy, and a brighter future for Alberta.
Incredible tourism experiences are essential to Alberta’s visitor economy—but it also takes travellers to ensure tourism destinations and experiences survive. With international travel restrictions still in place, that means most of the province’s experience-seekers right now are Albertans.
“We would like to thank all the Albertans who supported local businesses this summer and took time to try new experiences and explore new parts of the province. Your support is directly contributing to tourism’s and Alberta’s economic recovery,” said Heseltine.
For Alberta’s tourism industry, it will be a long road to restore the province’s visitor economy to 2019 levels. But if this summer is any indication, tourism partners across Alberta are unwavering in their determination to work together and rebuild tourism in the province. With winter only weeks away, community tourism businesses are also counting on Albertans to keep on experiencing the beauty and wonder of our province—a place international travellers the world over can only dream about visiting in the future when it is safe to do so.
“Alberta is a world-renowned destination for its beautiful landscapes, fresh air and every amenity a traveller could want. It’s all right here in our backyard and there is no better time to take a break and experience Alberta for yourself,” said Heseltine.