The Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation hosted a media event with Travel Alberta this morning at Burwood Distillery to discuss the recovery and growth of Alberta’s visitor economy.
Before the pandemic, tourism was a $10.1 billion industry contributing $8.4 billion to Alberta’s GDP. Following two years of devastation to the sector, Alberta’s government and Travel Alberta are positioning it for a comeback.
“Alberta’s tourism sector is a key driver of revenue and jobs and will play an important role in economic recovery, growth, and diversification. The industry has faced a couple of years like never before and we have begun the work of re-positioning it for future and sustained growth. Travel Alberta’s investment will accelerate the sector’s recovery and help get it back to pre-pandemic levels by 2024,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
Over the next three years, Travel Alberta will invest more than $50 million dollars to enhance and grow visitor products and experiences.
“We are proud to support entrepreneurs and communities to strengthen the visitor experience, building on our global reputation as a must-see destination,” said David Goldstein, president and CEO, Travel Alberta.
Businesses, non-profits, communities and associations can now apply for two different investment programs, to receive funding for the 2022-23 season:
- The product development fund provides up to $500,000 to support tourism growth through asset and experience enhancement, development and diversification. For the first time, funding is available to early-stage tourism entrepreneurs and start-ups that have been in business for at least six months.
- The cooperative investment fund provides up to $100,000 to help communities grow tourism revenue through destination development, promotion, and cultural activities. Funding will be aimed at rural development and promotion and events and festivals.
Applications for first round of funding close Friday, May 13 at 11:59 p.m.
Following the media event, Minister Doug Schweitzer, Parliamentary Secretary Martin Long, Calgary-Klein MLA Jeremy Nixon and Travel Alberta CEO David Goldstein got a taste of the visitor experience with a tour of the distillation room from Burwood Distillery’s CEO Dr. Jordan Ramey.