The U.S. is Alberta’s largest international market and has tremendous potential for increased destination awareness and visitation. California and Texas are primary target markets based on direct air access and their high percentage of Free Spirits and Cultural Explorers that are most attracted to Alberta experiences. Our key partnership with AEG in California allows a consistent presence of the Alberta message, increased awareness and exclusivity to lock out competition destinations. Strong travel trade relationships and Alberta products within key accounts are well established.
Challenges in this market include the CTC withdrawing tourism marketing efforts, high airfare costs relative to competitive destinations, and fluctuating currency exchange rates. The U.S. economic recession continues to affect consumer travel purchase decisions, but we are seeing evidence of increased confidence as the economy recovers.
Travellers from the U.S. come from the leisure, visiting friends and relatives (VFR), and business markets. It’s essential that we leverage all marketing channels with a multifaceted strategy in this core market. The call to action on all consumer facing initiatives will be the travelalberta.com website featuring key experiences that resonate with this audience. Seasonal campaigns will increase awareness and direct consumers to our tourism partner packages and travel deals. Year round storytelling and destination awareness pieces will continue to move consumers along the path to purchase through our partnerships with like-minded brands like AEG.
Travel Trade activities will connect key operators in the U.S. to the Alberta brand through joint marketing agreements and destination training through networks of travel industry professionals. Strategic public relations and media support will play an integrated role in all channels with a focus on broadcast, key accounts, social media conversations, and promotions of our brand stories through the Visit Alberta Media Program. With in-market representation based in California, Minnesota and DC, MC&IT will continue to develop meaningful business relationships and generate awareness of Alberta as a viable meeting destination.