According to Statistics Canada, Canada's real gross domestic product rose 1.2 per cent in 2015, down from 2.5 per cent in 2014. Destination Canada's Global Tourism Watch reports that the Canadian economy is, however, expected to rebound and return to positive growth in 2016. Although Canada is battling through a recession fuelled by an uncertain oil sector and weakening business investment, Canada's travel outlook is generally positive. Canadians may not have the buying power they once had, but from a tourism perspective, there is opportunity to inspire domestic travel to keep Canadians travelling at home. Canadian travellers account for 95% of Alberta's total visitation and almost 77% of total expenditure.
Travel Alberta has a strong consumer marketing focus in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec and will leverage a devalued Canadian dollar to influence travellers to choose homegrown experiences. Our marketing activities target Free Spirit and Cultural Explorer travellers in these target markets, which collectively make up 21% of the population in Canada. Smart marketing and brand positioning is essential to maximize the potential with these high-potential travellers.
Significant provincial investments and support for the industry in recent years underline Travel Alberta's continued focus in Canada. With a customized marketing approach to each channel and the presentation of compelling Alberta video, messaging and storytelling, we will maximize Alberta's brand exposure and showcase our province to the rest of Canada. Year-round marketing initiatives in all domestic markets will be aimed at creating an emotional connection between the traveller and the Alberta experiences they're looking for.
In addition to the marketing investments and efforts Travel Alberta makes in Canada, we continue to be a critical resource for Alberta's tourism industry in promoting domestic travel. By working together and aligning our national strategy and investments, as Team Alberta we will encourage Canadians to spend their travel dollars in Alberta.
Opportunity for growth
Leverage Alberta's tourism brand through year round marketing initiatives in targeted domestic markets to create an emotional connection with Canadian travellers.
- Continue to create demand to visit Alberta from high potential domestic markets and market segments
- Capitalize on lower Canadian dollar to drive incremental revenues and length of stay
- Grow visitation from Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) and other high value audience segments
- Leverage Canada's 150th birthday as a compelling reason to visit Alberta