Following an estimated decline in real gross domestic product of 1.5 per cent in 2015, Alberta's economy is expected to contract again in 2016 by 1.1% according to the Government of Alberta. Current economic conditions and the outlook for oil prices have weakened our economy, but tourism presents some positive news in an uncertain time. Alberta remains a core market for growing our visitor economy in combination with strong growth in international visitation and expenditure. Albertans spend more than $5 billion annually travelling in Alberta and this revenue contributes $4 billion in tax revenue to all levels of government.
The pride Albertans have for Alberta is our competitive advantage. Travel Alberta's marketing presence in Alberta will inspire its residents to support their province in this volatile time by exploring new places, trying new experiences, and inviting their out-of-province friends and relatives to visit.
We will continue to engage Albertans to influence purchase decisions as they plan their "staycations," placing a greater focus on content marketing. As we continue to provide insider knowledge and first hand experience to local influencers, the resulting compelling stories will increase positive engagements with locals. We will also engage with Albertans while they are travelling in-province through their mobile devices and at Visitor Information Centres (VICs).
Our marketing efforts will continue to showcase both the icons and the hidden gems from across the province through timely information and relevant travel packages. Together with Alberta's tourism marketing partners, we will provide Albertans with information about our unique experiences via our brand new website, mobile friendly access and robust social media platforms. And we will continue to work closely with Alberta experience providers to increase the availability of purchase-ready product. Driving visitation during shoulder seasons and "need periods" will be our focus,while we also work to maintain high occupancy in popular tourism destinations.
Opportunity for growth
Strengthen Alberta's regional marketing opportunities to deliver compelling reasons for Albertans to choose world-class tourism experiences at home.
- Launch new ATIS 2.0 for Alberta's tourism operators to promote their experiences on platforms travellers use to make their purchase decisions.
- Execute an advocacy strategy that fosters "pride of place" in Albertans, and continue to create demand for Albertans to travel within Alberta (staycations).
- Capitalize on lower Canadian dollar to increase regional travel frequency and spend per trip.
- Increase awareness of lesser known Alberta travel experiences.
- Grow visitation from Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) and other high value audience segments.
- Continue to invest and support industry-led regional marketing efforts