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Calgary, AB, October 19, 2020— 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 the industry’s and Alberta’s economic recovery. Facing the travel sector’s worst crisis of the modern era, Alberta tourism operators are proving to be resilient and innovative, and are working hard to rebuild their businesses, to safely welcome visitors, and restore traveller confidence.

“Tourism contributes billions to Alberta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and tourism-related businesses are critical job creators and employers across Alberta. Tourism will be an important part of our recovery and success in the future. To all Albertans, venture out this fall and winter and safely explore Alberta’s hidden gems, buy local and support the small businesses that make up the fabric of our province,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

“We are seeing incredible determination and creativity from tourism businesses around the province—seizing this challenge as an opportunity to reinvent, innovate and unlock the full potential of their businesses. Heading into winter, we urge Albertans to get outdoors and stay active, savour the heartwarming beauty of our province for their own emotional and physical wellbeing, while helping to support the small businesses that drive our communities and economy,” said Chris Heseltine, Acting CEO, Travel Alberta.


  • Videos:
    • Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, salutes Alberta tourism entrepreneurs and small businesses for their contribution to the province’s economy and communities. VIEW
    • Travel Alberta shines a spotlight on tourism small businesses with facts, figures, and perspectives from some Alberta tourism operators. VIEW 
  • Sharing inspiring stories from small businesses around the province. Travel Alberta is highlighting how tourism entrepreneurs are adapting their operations and even introducing new visitor experiences under the most challenging of circumstances, supporting Alberta’s recovery and driving the economy forward.
  • Hosting a webinar to connect and inspire tourism entrepreneurs and businesses—Thursday, October 22, 10-11 a.m.  Award-winning business journalist and speaker David Sax explains how the two essential elements of every entrepreneur—freedom and risk—hold the secret to resilience and provide the base for reinvention and innovation. REGISTER

Visit the Travel Alberta Industry Hub for more information about how we are celebrating tourism businesses and entrepreneurs during Small Business Week—including a social media toolkit to join the conversation.

Click here for photos and video clips of Alberta’s breathtaking landscapes and tourism businesses for news stories.


  • Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s tourism industry generated $8.9 billion in revenue, creating nearly 73,000 jobs in communities throughout the province. Today, traveller spending to Alberta is forecast to fall to $3.5 billion in 2020—a 63 per cent drop compared to 2019—resulting in an estimated 30,000 jobs lost. 
  • There were over 18,000 tourism-related businesses in Alberta in June 2020, accounting for 3.3 per cent of the total number of businesses in the province.
  • Approximately 11 per cent of Canada’s tourism-related businesses are in Alberta.
  • Most of Alberta’s tourism-related businesses (98.6 per cent) are small, consisting of either a self-employed person with a minimum annual revenue of $30,000 or a business with between one and 99 employees.
    [Source: Statistics Canada (2017) and Canadian Business Counts (2020)]


Travel Alberta is the destination promotion organization of the Government of Alberta. We promote Alberta as a desirable place to travel, live, work, 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, year-round. 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 Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

To learn more about Travel Alberta’s strategy and programs visit
Travel Alberta on LinkedIn

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