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Small Business Week (October 17-23, 2021) – organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) since 1979 – is a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contribution to Canada’s economy.

This week on social media, Travel Alberta is recognizing Small Business Week and the important role tourism plays in rebuilding Alberta’s economy – recognizing that almost 99 per cent of tourism-related businesses in our province are small businesses or run by solo entrepreneurs.

Quick Facts: Alberta Tourism & Small Businesses

  • Small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs are the heart of Alberta’s tourism industry—accounting for almost 99 per cent of Alberta’s tourism-related businesses—and are playing a vital role in Alberta’s economic recovery.
  • Alberta’s 18,200 tourism-related businesses (June 2020) make up 3.3 per cent of the total number of businesses in Alberta.
  • Approximately 11 per cent of Canada’s tourism-related businesses reside here in Alberta and are an important source of jobs for the middle class, a driver of entrepreneurship and the largest employer of youth.
  • Prior to the pandemic, Alberta’s visitor economy was an $8.2 billion industry supporting 20,000 tourism businesses and nearly 69,000 jobs.
  • Tourism has been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, with 2020 tourism expenditures expected to fall to $4.9 billion – a 48 per cent decrease. International travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024.
  • Alberta’s tourism operators have faced these unprecedented challenges with trademark grit, resilience, and creativity – working hard to rebuild their businesses, safely welcome back visitors, and restore traveller confidence. Their positive outlook and innovation are key to a thriving and prosperous Alberta for all.

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