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Travel Alberta

Recovering as Team Alberta

Travel Alberta is committed to showing the world that Alberta is open for business. We are working closely with our tourism partners to get the province up and running for a busy travel season and connecting with our customers to manage any misconceptions that flooding in southern Alberta has dramatically affected the overall visitor experience. We are extremely mindful of the many operators in the province who were not affected by flooding and we continue with our planned marketing campaigns and activities in all of our markets to offer compelling invitations for the world to visit Alberta. Destinations across southern Alberta sit in different phases of response, recovery or business. 

It’s important that we share our flood recovery efforts with you so we can rally together as Team Alberta and help deliver on our promise of authentic experiences in breathtaking landscapes. On that note, here’s a quick overview of what Travel Alberta has accomplished to date:

Communication with industry:
All business units within Travel Alberta have been in contact  with partners  in flood-affected areas  to determine how we can best support. We have also been in contact with all affected Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to review marketing tactics and align messaging. We will continue to assess the effects of flooding on southern Alberta, to determine the impact to businesses and tourism related infrastructure and to evaluate readiness to receive travellers and deliver the Alberta tourism experience.

Our international and North American tour operators, travel trade and in-market representatives are up to speed on the status of travel within the province and the progress of recovery efforts to ensure that consumers in our key markets are confident in their plans to travel to Alberta this summer. We are aware of some cancellations and rerouting while the flood was in progress; however, most operators are reporting re-bookings for later this summer. 

Social media:
From the onset of the flood, Travel Alberta started connecting and engaging with travellers via our social media channels, pointing them in the right direction for information related to roadways and visitor centres as well as providing updates on affected areas and alternative travel options.  

When the hashtag #AlbertaStrong started trending on social channels as a way to share stories and photographs, we developed an “Alberta Strong” page on travelalberta.com to capture the courage and camaraderie of Albertans coming together to rebuild flood- affected areas. People were looking to participate in authentic conversations about Alberta. The hashtag became synonymous with the celebration of the positive actions of Albertans and the page quickly gained momentum. To date we have shared more than 13,000 posts and photographs on our “Alberta Strong” page. 

We’ve been monitoring our social communities closely, looking for any negative sentiment towards Alberta as a travel destination. Overall sentiment in all markets - including Alberta - remains neutral and/or positive.  This is a good indication that Alberta is standing strong.   

Travel Alberta website:
Travel Alberta launched an online travel resource for flood-related information and updates on travelalberta.com within the first few days of response. This information is updated regularly and has become a trusted source for timely and accurate information for travellers. We have received approximately 2,000 views on this page to date. 

All events and packages listed on travelalberta.com have been updated and reviewed by Alberta operators.  Events that have been cancelled and packages that are no longer offered were removed from ATIS. We will continue to review events and packages with our industry partners to ensure our consumer-facing information is accurate and compelling.  

Consumer marketing campaign:
Our regional and Canadian long-haul summer marketing campaign has been augmented to create an emotional and empathetic connection with our target travellers. We developed a new 60-second brand commercial and placed it in both regional and national target markets. The goal was to highlight the spirit and resiliency of Albertans while sending a clear message that Alberta is open for business. This commercial can also be viewed on Travel Alberta’s YouTube channel

We increased our campaign exposure through CBC Stampede coverage as well as with CTV, CityTV and Global. We are also working with the Weather Network in western Canada placing online banner ads to amplify the destination message. (Remember your neighbour) full page ads were also distributed via the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star and Vancouver Sun that exemplify Albertans working together in the recovery process.

In addition, we positioned a five-page feature advertorial in the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald on July 19 to showcase communities, attractions, events and festivals happening across the province this summer. Events and festivals are a main motivator for travel and our goal is to keep Albertans travelling in Alberta this summer.  

Travel Alberta online travel agency (OTA) campaigns on Expedia and Travelocity in Canada and the U.S. have also been extended by two weeks to make up for exposure lost as a result of the flooding.

Co-operative Marketing:
Through our co-operative marketing program, we have assisted Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Tourism Calgary and Tourism Canmore Kananaskis in extending their flood-related marketing activities to help convey the message that they are open for business.

Media and Public Relations:
Tourism is the industry hardest hit by the flooding in southern Alberta and we are busy working with various regional and national media outlets sharing the tourism story and the important role our industry plays in contributing to both the Alberta and Canadian economy.

All of our scheduled media visits to the province through our Visit Alberta Media Program went ahead as planned, with the exception of one broadcaster and one blogger who have both rescheduled their visits for later this year. 

Tourism Recovery Management Plan:
Travel Alberta is working closely with Tourism, Parks and Recreation on a joint Tourism Recovery Management Plan for a consistent, coordinated and integrated approach to response and recovery activities.

We are committed to our industry through the recovery process and beyond. We are a resilient industry and together we will rebuild an even stronger province and stronger traveller experience. Although there are still challenges ahead, the province has made great progress as we work together as “Team Alberta”. Alberta is open for business and we will continue to attract youthfully-spirited travellers looking for that authentic experience and that breathtaking landscape. 

Travel Alberta