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Alberta is bursting with big ideas, from alpine coasters to fairytale accommodations to cheese-making museums to guided glacier hikes. The creativity and entrepreneurial thinking of Alberta’s tourism operators is one of our unique advantages.

Tourism is a significant driver of sustainable economic, social, and cultural development. To build a robust visitor economy, we need to continually develop boutique accommodations and experiences that will attract high-value travellers from around the world. At Travel Alberta, we support destination development by investing in the big ideas of Alberta’s tourism entrepreneurs.

Diversifying rural development

Rural tourism is a key driver of both international and domestic visitation. It also fuels economic development, supports cultural preservation and creates infrastructure and amenities that improve residents' quality of life. And, as a primary employer of people under the age of 35, it creates year-round employment opportunities that can help keep communities young and vibrant.

Rural tourism development creates unique offerings highlighting our breathtaking landscapes and welcoming communities and encourages Albertans to get outside and explore their own backyard.

We support rural tourism development through our tourism investment program. In 2022-23, we funded 166 tourism projects across 73 communities. About 75 per cent of the projects and 70 per cent of the funding were in smaller urban and rural areas of the province.

For Albertans, these developments contribute to community sustainability and can improve quality of life. To ensure we are investing in projects that are most impactful, we engage with communities, residents and operators inand apply their feedback as guides for our future investment priorities.

Glamping in Parkland County with Urban River Adventures.

Building a year-round sector

As we develop additional offerings and destinations across the province, we also look for opportunities that support a year-round tourism sector. A greater dispersion of visitors throughout the year can lessen the impact on residents, infrastructure and the environment, supporting a sustainable sector.

A multi-seasonal sector encourages youth to consider tourism as a rewarding career path, instead of being a summer job they take between semesters. Tourism business owners will also earn more, which naturally will be reinvested in their communities.

We partnered with operators like Canyon Coaster, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden and Elevated Escapes to develop new offerings that expand their operating season.


With this investment, we're able to do more year-round activities. We're able to keep more staff on payroll year-round, which in turn will provide for better guest experience because we'll have that staff that we don't have to give seasonal layoffs to each year.

David Martel, Owner, Canyon Ski Resort

Canyon Coaster at Red Deer's Canyon Ski Resort
Canyon Coaster's new alpine track going through the forest.

Preserving culture and history

Sustainable tourism development plays an important role in protecting and amplifying the many stories of Albertans, particularly for Indigenous peoples. Authentic, Indigenous-led tourism can create meaningful jobs and opportunities for Indigenous people to pass down their languages, culture and histories.


Tourism is such an important way for us to connect to community, to continue the stories between youth and elder, to offer an educational opportunity to our guests to know who we are, to help people understand that the land is all that there is.

Brenda Holder, Founder, Mahikan Trails

Young girl learns from Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Brenda Holder, about the surrounding land.

Want to learn more? Contact our team of business experts

Looking to grow your tourism business and contribute to the province’s visitor economy? Our destination development team supports tourism operators with planning, coaching, networking, forecasting and more. Find your regional manager here.

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