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Mid-Year Report on Tourism in Calgary

As predicted following the economic downturn in 2014, growth in Calgary’s tourism industry is being moderately tempered by the current economic climate. Calgary in particular is impacted by lower demand from business travellers as nearly 25 per cent of overnight stays in Calgary are business-related, whereas the national average is 11 per cent. The impact of the economic downturn on tourism accelerated in the second quarter of 2015, with the number of hotel rooms sold in Calgary down 2.8% through June.

Meanwhile, almost 7.4 million passengers passed through the Calgary International Airport in the first half of 2015, a 1 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2014. While U.S. travel was down 2.3 per cent as Canadians reduced their travel to the U.S. due to the exchange rate, international travel was up 5.7 per cent.

It’s important to note that numbers encompassing Calgary’s summer travel season will be reported in the fourth quarter.

Marketing our city

Throughout the first half of the year, Tourism Calgary executed multiple robust multi-platform campaigns in strategically-identified markets to attract travellers to our destination. A summer campaign supported by a record 17 partners, an ongoing event marketing campaign, a national campaign and a U.S.-specific campaign were all active in key markets in the second quarter alone.

Tourism Calgary’s marketing campaigns are all based on key research findings and executed in collaboration with key partners including Banff / Lake Louise Tourism, Travel Alberta and local attractions.

Increased focus on travel trade

Tourism Calgary is heightening its focus on attracting travel trade to our city. Industry veteran Marilyn Bell has accepted the position of Vice President of Travel Trade, Market and Product Development, responsible for supporting the development and execution of strategies with tour operators from Canada, the U.S. and around the world to inspire and compel tour operators to book incremental room nights in Calgary.

Year of Sport

Sport tourism continues to be an important pillar of Tourism Calgary’s strategy. In fact, 2015 is the Year of Sport in Canada and Calgary is playing a leading role. By the end of this year, Calgary will have hosted 14 national championships, 11 international competitions and two world championships – all supported by Tourism Calgary and the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority.

In May, Calgary hosted the largest volleyball tournament in Canadian history in the 2015 Canadian Open volleyball Championship. 800 teams comprised of 10,000 athletes played over 3,000 matches on 60 courts around the city, resulting in over 20,000 hotel room nights contracted. Also featured were men’s and women’s FIVB World League matches, versus Cuba and Puerto Rico respectively.

Learn more

In 2014, more than 8 million travellers visited Calgary, contributing $1.7 billion to the economy. To learn more about Tourism Calgary and our global efforts to attract visitors to our city, see visitcalgary.com.


Tourism Calgary