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Consider the last time you travelled, for business or pleasure. Chances are you prioritized destinations that could be reached by a direct flight. No one wants to waste precious hours in airports during long layovers.

Alberta is a distinctly fly-to destination. In fact, more than 70 per cent of U.S. travellers and 85 per cent of international travellers arrived by air in 2019. That’s why our destination management strategy focuses on increasing direct air access to Alberta from our primary international markets. To double the value of tourism in Alberta by 2035, we must ensure visitors can reach our province easily.

Increased access to Alberta is also crucial to recapturing valuable business and event travel in cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.

Alberta has a unique advantage because we have two major international airports located in Calgary and Edmonton, and a third airport in Fort McMurray offering intraprovincial flights. This supports regional distribution of visitors because travellers can fly directly to destinations in northern, central and southern Alberta, connecting with the vast diversity of experiences available in all corners of our province.

Family snowshoeing at Metis Crossing.

In the past year, international route announcements included:

  • WestJet—New routes from Tokyo, London (Heathrow), Rome, Minneapolis, and expanded service from Paris, London (Gatwick), Barcelona, Dublin, and Seattle
  • Flair—New routes from Nashville and Tucson
  • Lynx— New routes from Orlando, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas

To grow the number and frequency of international routes to Alberta, we must grow demand for these flights in international markets. Domestic airlines do not have the same brand recognition in newer international markets. That’s why we support air access development by co-investing in marketing programs with our partner airlines and the two major airports.

Alberta’s tourism operators can capitalize on this momentum by tailoring tourism experiences and marketing to travellers most likely to visit often and spend more in Alberta. That includes travellers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan, according to our market research. Learn more about these audiences by reviewing their market insight profiles.

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