Travel Alberta

Team Alberta Driving Tourism Revenue at Canada’s West Marketplace 2016

Strengthening Alberta’s competitive position as an international tourism destination is a major strategic objective for Travel Alberta, and is especially important during challenging economic times. Achieving this goal also takes a huge commitment by Alberta tourism partners to continually evaluate their businesses and find ways to stay fresh and relevant, to expand operating seasons, and develop new tourism experiences.

Canada’s West Marketplace (CWM) is a perfect example of Team Alberta working together to showcase Alberta’s tourism product to a crucial audience: international tour operators and wholesalers from key markets around the world. CWM provides buyers with opportunities for meaningful, face-to-face business interactions with Alberta tourism sellers in attendance through pre-booked “speed-dating style” appointments at the three-day event.

Bringing international tourism spending to Alberta is a vital element supporting Travel Alberta’s strategy to grow tourism revenue to $10 billion by 2020. The annual CWM trade show is a partnership between Travel Alberta and Destination British Columbia, and is one of the most effective ways for Alberta and British Columbia tourism suppliers to present their products, experiences and services to tourism buyers from around the world.

The event location alternates between the two provinces. The 29th Canada’s West Marketplace took place in Jasper from November 13 to 17, allowing international buyers to experience this spectacular region of Alberta firsthand. Buyers are an integral part of Alberta’s distribution network in international markets. They package Alberta’s travel offerings – the hotels, attractions, festivals, events, and more – to make it easy for travellers to plan and book an Alberta holiday. In many cases, buyers help to influence where and when clients book their trip, so the more information the buyer has about Alberta, the easier it is to sell.

2016 CWM by the Numbers                                                          

  • 131 international buyers from 13 countries
  • 179 Alberta seller delegates representing 118 organizations, up from 122 delegates from 104 organizations at last year’s event
  • 4,500+ appointments pre-booked by Alberta sellers with international buyers
  • 360 appointments pre-booked by the Travel Alberta Business Development team with delegates

CWM Scholars put their Learning to Work

Travel Alberta’s three-year Canada’s West Marketplace Scholarship Program provides coaching and financial support to Alberta-based tourism businesses to develop export-ready products or services for high-potential international markets. Financial support and coaching is also provided to scholars to attend Canada’s West Marketplace.

Thirteen scholars attended the 2016 CWM, meeting with more than 100 international and domestic tour operators and Travel Alberta team members. The following scholars were in attendance, including six new graduates from the program:

  • Safira Lachapelle – Medalta Clay District of Medicine Hat
  • Suzanne Lodermeier – Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
  • Chelsea Barclay and David Farran – Eau Claire Distillery of Turner Valley
  • Lisa Darrah – Rockaboo Mountain Adventures of Jasper
  • Karen Anderson – Alberta Food Tours
  • Tam Andersen – Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm
  • Jay Hern – Bar Diamond Guest Ranch

New graduates:

  • Dawn Rigby – Country Encounters of Crowsnest Pass
  • Benjamin Johnston – Mountain Madness Tours of Edmonton
  • Ryan Thompson – Mukwah Rafting Tours of Sundre and Calgary
  • Andrew Milne – Pinnacle Hockey of Canmore
  • Terri Kinsman – Rocking R Guest Ranch of Strathmore
  • Barbara Kosterski – Snowtips-Bactrax of Banff

A reception was held at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on the first day of CWM to celebrate the graduation of the new scholars.

Events to Watch for in 2017

Several additional annual events provide opportunities to promote Alberta tourism, connect with international buyers, establish relationships, build business and pursue professional development. Watch for Rendez-vous Canada taking place in Calgary May 9-12, and the Mountain Travel Symposium at The Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff and Fairmont Lake Louise from March 26 to April 1. The 30th Canada West Marketplace trade show will take place in Victoria, B.C. in November 2017.

Find out more about the range of opportunities offered by Travel Alberta on our industry website Events page.

Travel Alberta