Calgary, AB, June 22, 2020 - Three new federal and provincial funding programs for Alberta destination management organizations and tourism businesses are addressing key areas of need, as identified in a recent Travel Alberta industry COVID-19 impact survey:
- $4 million – Alberta Destination Management Organization (DMO) COVID-19 Operational Relief Program
Through a partnership between Travel Alberta and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), this joint funding program will provide temporary operational funding to nine of Alberta’s primary DMOs serving the cities and Rockies: Tourism Calgary; Edmonton Tourism; Banff & Lake Louise Tourism; Tourism Jasper; Tourism Canmore Kananaskis; Tourism Medicine Hat; Tourism Red Deer; Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association; and Explore Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray). WD is contributing $1.45 million with a further $2.55 million from Travel Alberta’s budget to help ensure the future sustainability of these DMOs and their ability to support community tourism businesses as they reopen.
- $4 million – Destination Canada Domestic Funding Program
Destination Canada is providing a one-time contribution to Alberta’s four largest city/community DMOs, that are major contributors to provincial revenues and employment. The funding to Tourism Calgary, Edmonton Tourism, Banff & Lake Louse Tourism and Tourism Jasper, who traditionally work with Destination Canada, will support regional promotional initiatives this summer and winter. Destination Canada’s $4 million contribution will amplify Travel Alberta’s own $4 million investment in regional campaigns to responsibly inspire Albertans to explore the province as provincial health guidelines allow. It will also support content creation to drive future visitation to Alberta in spring and summer 2021 and beyond.
- $5 million – Travel Alberta Cooperative Investment Program
This grant program, 100 per cent funded by Travel Alberta, supports private sector tourism businesses, municipalities and non-profits through two funding streams related to product/experience development and partnership marketing investment to drive responsible travel and cash flow to businesses. Applications for the summer intake are now being accepted through to June 30, 2020.
“From the Rockies to the Badlands, it’s not hard to see why visitors are drawn to Alberta. Yet tourism and those whose livelihoods depend on it have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we’re here for them. This investment will help more Albertans discover the wonders of their own backyard, while supporting local jobs in tourism. Our message to Alberta tourism is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this together. We’re working with you to support good jobs and help tourism bounce back stronger than ever.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“Tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19. The tourism industry is the fourth largest employment sector in the province, it’s a key contributor to our economy, and it creates jobs and revenue that so many communities across our province depend on. Travel Alberta is taking action to address important needs, support destination management organizations and tourism businesses, and accelerate our tourism industry’s recovery.”
The Honourable Tanya Fir, MLA for Calgary-Peigan and Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
“In a recent COVID-19 industry assessment survey conducted by Travel Alberta, tourism partners clearly told us which support systems will have the greatest impact in helping them remain viable and adapt to the changes resulting from COVID-19, including operational funding and marketing support. These programs help address these needs and are critically important to the rebuild of Alberta’s tourism industry and visitor economy.”
Linda Southern-Heathcott, chair, Travel Alberta Board of Directors
“Tourism will play a vital role in restarting Alberta’s economy and we are pleased to see these federal and provincial funding programs tailored to address local industry needs. These investments will go a long way toward helping regional destination organizations and small- and medium-sized businesses in every corner of the province remain viable and support their re-opening and local marketing efforts to drive desperately-needed cash flow and get Albertans back to work.”
Alida Visbach, board chair, Tourism Industry Association of Alberta
ABOUT TRAVEL ALBERTA
Travel Alberta is the destination development and promotion organization of the Government of Alberta. We promote Alberta as a desirable place to travel, work, live, play, invest and learn. Working with businesses throughout the province, we capitalize on Alberta’s breathtaking landscapes and world-class hospitality to develop memorable experiences for visitors to enjoy, in all regions, in all seasons. Our work directly and indirectly benefits our province, driving visitation and revenue, diversifying the economy, providing jobs, encouraging economic investment and enhancing quality of life for Albertans and their communities.
Established as a Crown corporation on April 1, 2009, we operate under the authority of the Travel Alberta Act within the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.