When Tourism Works, The World Notices
Travel Alberta's 2016-2018 Business and Marketing Plans are now available for download.
Tourism demonstrates an incredible resiliency in times of uncertainty. Alberta is experiencing one of the toughest economic cycles in decades paired with the devastating fires in the Fort McMurray area. The ground continues to shift beneath our feet.
Albertans remain determined and are passionate about tourism as an industry and as a business. They know Alberta offers an array of experiences that travellers want to engage in and share with their friends and family.
With tourism continuing to grow unabated over the previous five years, it’s no wonder competition remains fierce for the traveller dollar. Countries and provinces, regions, cities and towns understand that creating long-term, sustainable economic diversification includes tourism as part of their strategies.
Over the past fiscal year, many of Alberta’s tourism operators reported excellent visitation and sales in both summer and winter seasons. Leisure tourism indicators like museum attendance, national park visitation and food and beverage receipts were positive. For example, Waterton National Park had the highest number of visitors in its history with 15% growth from 2014.
As the leisure sector is proving strong, the business sector is feeling the impact of a volatile economy. Business and crew travel is down, and hotel occupancy (excluding resorts) decreased 9.1 points in 2015, compared to 2014. In this sector, however, the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events (MICE) business is a bright light, especially from long-haul markets, and continues to demonstrate positive returns. This is where we have opportunity and influence. This is the time to build upon this lucrative travel segment.
Team Alberta has been on a remarkable journey. We’ve grown as marketers, partners and tourism leaders and transformed the way we connect the world to Alberta. Personal and financial investments made within Alberta’s tourism industry over the past decade will pay off while the energy industry moves through a reset. Attractions, accommodations, roads, parks, infrastructure, new flights from domestic and international destinations coupled with the development of new experiences demonstrate long-term confidence in the Alberta marketplace. Travel Alberta will build on this confidence and reinforce an impactful tourism brand.
I am proud to present Travel Alberta’s 2016-2018 business and marketing plans under our mission to create economic prosperity with compelling invitations to explore Alberta. This isn’t just a plan for Travel Alberta, but a roadmap for industry growth into 2022. Together, we will reach our goal of $10 billion in tourism revenue by 2020.
Travel Alberta’s 2016–2022 growth strategy is an opportunity for industry, partners and governments to focus on increased returns from tourism. We approached this strategy in consultation and collaboration with our industry partners to ensure focus and relevancy across the province. Our three core strategic objectives will remain consistent from 2016 to 2022 and act as a roadmap for the next six years. A performance-based business strategy paired with a passionate industry and a skilled, motivated team is our secret to success.
Travel Alberta continues to target high-potential travellers in key global markets and segments. Targeting the right customers at the right time through a strategy that embraces leading technologies and accounts for current economic conditions will lead to positive revenue. We see this approach at work in the United States where a recovering economy, job growth and foreign exchange work in tourism’s favour. The U.S. leisure traveller is coming back.
Our successful destination story (remember to breathe) continues to create an emotional connection with travellers worldwide. And this powerful message has also helped to ignite pride of place in Albertans, who in turn share Alberta’s story with the world. At a time when economic diversification is more important than ever, (remember to breathe) showcases Alberta not only as an inspiring place to visit but to live, work and play.
Ultimately, tourism supports all Albertans with substantial economic benefits including employment, community development, diversification and an enhanced quality of life for those who are proud to call Alberta home.
On behalf of Travel Alberta, thank you to all Alberta ambassadors and tourism partners for your passion and commitment to this province and this industry.
Travel Alberta Team Member
Chief Executive Officer