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Phenomenal year for tourism: Travel Alberta releases its 2017-18 annual report

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by ahnationtalk on November 5, 201874 Views

Focus on creating $1.5 billion worth of goosebump moments to hit $10 billion by 2020

CALGARY, Nov. 5, 2018  – New records for tourism revenue and visitation are just two of the highlights in Travel Alberta’s 2017-18 annual report—and a testament to the significance of the province’s travel economy.

Creating good jobs and a diversified economy were key themes of the 2017-18 provincial budget and the Government of Alberta identified tourism as a key priority to support the province’s economic growth and diversification plan.

“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, Travel Alberta Board of Directors.

Key performance indicators

  • $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, Travel Alberta.

Travel Alberta industry investment highpoints

  • Cooperative Marketing Investment program: Travel Alberta invested $6.4 million in industry-led initiatives and campaigns, generating an estimated $81 million in incremental revenue for more than 600 Alberta businesses—a return on investment of over 12 to 1, and a two per cent increase over the previous year.
  • SHiFT program: Alberta tourism businesses learn how to develop and deliver memorable tourism experiences. Since launching in 2015, SHiFT has influenced the creation of 47 new tourism experiences across the province—on track with the program goal of 12 new experiences each year.
  • Connecting Alberta tourism sellers with buyers: At Canada’s West Marketplace, a strategic partnership with Destination British Columbia, 75 per cent of Alberta sellers gained new business through this tradeshow in 2017-18.
  • Growing Indigenous tourism: Travel Alberta signed a partnership agreement with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to support the creation of an Alberta Indigenous Tourism Strategy—the first investment of its kind.
  • Strategic business partnerships: For example, in 2017-18 Travel Alberta continued its global partnership with Expedia, producing over 676,000 booked room nights, a 27 per cent increase over 2016-17, with an estimated economic impact of $396 million.
  • Focus on China: Marketing partnerships with Chinese tour companies resulted in over 50,000 booked room nights—including over 12,000 during winter season—an increase of 127 per cent over the previous year, and contributing an estimated $15.2 million to the Alberta visitor economy.
  • Airline relations: Travel Alberta works closely with airlines offering direct access into the Calgary and Edmonton international airports. In 2017-18 total seat capacity into Alberta grew six per cent year-over-year.

“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,” said Chwin.

For more information on how Travel Alberta is working to help provincial tourism thrive, visit our online Industry Hub to view our 2017-18 annual report.

About Travel Alberta

Travel Alberta is the destination promotion organization of Alberta. We showcase Alberta tourism experiences to potential travellers in Canada and internationally. Travel Alberta provides marketing expertise and destination development support to Alberta-based tourism businesses, creating compelling reasons for travellers to explore Alberta.

Established as a crown corporation in 2009, Travel Alberta is mandated to promote the province as a top tourism destination and support the Government of Alberta in the development of tourism policy, advocacy, research, visitor services and product development.

For further information: Danielle Vlemmiks, Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Communications, Travel Alberta,, C: 403-966-8903


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