Calgary, AB, November 5, 2020—Travel Alberta Board Chair Linda Southern-Heathcott today announced that Mr. David Goldstein has been appointed as Travel Alberta’s new CEO, effective November 16, 2020.
Mr. Goldstein has an extensive background in tourism and media, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Gusto Worldwide Media. Prior to this, Mr. Goldstein was President and CEO of Destination Canada, the Government of Canada’s marketing and research organization, for nearly five years, in addition to his nearly five years as President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), which represents the tourism industry at the national level.
David joins Travel Alberta at a crucial time for Alberta’s tourism industry. Prior to COVID-19, Alberta tourism was an $8.9 billion industry on a growth trajectory, supporting 22,000 businesses and generating nearly 73,000 jobs. Now faltering from the pandemic, the worst crisis for the travel sector in the modern era, traveller spending in Alberta is anticipated to fall approximately 63 per cent in 2020 (to $3.5 billion), compared to 2019.
“The Travel Alberta Board and I are absolutely thrilled to have David join Travel Alberta as CEO to chart a new path for Alberta’s tourism sector at this critical time. David brings tremendous knowledge and sector specific experience that will be vital to support the Travel Alberta team and our industry through this important time. David’s connection and passion to tourism in Canada will ensure that Alberta is well-positioned to once again welcome back visitors from the rest of the country and all over the world, when it is safe to do so,” said Southern-Heathcott.
“Mr. Goldstein is a welcomed addition to Alberta’s economic recovery. His expertise will ensure Alberta’s tourism industry will rebound from these difficult times and continue to be vital to Alberta’s future. Tourism remains an important part of our economic recovery and job creation strategy. I look forward to working with David to rebuild Alberta’s visitor economy,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
“Having the privilege of being part of the record growth in Canada’s visitor economy over the decade preceding this crisis, I felt it was time to get back in the game and be part of the recovery. This is personal for me. I know too many entrepreneurs—some of them in second and third generation family businesses—that are reeling from this crisis. Families and communities are relying on a smart recovery. I’ve long collaborated with, and admired, the team at Travel Alberta, and see this as an opportunity to roll up my sleeves to help create the conditions for success,” said Goldstein.
During his time with Destination Canada and TIAC, David has been at the forefront of several important initiatives driving Canada’s tourism sector forward, including: the development of the Federal Tourism Strategy; changes in aviation and visa policy; increased investments in global marketing; and modernizing an aligned strategy with provinces and city destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to develop the global Team Canada strategy, known as NorthStar 22.
“On behalf of the Board and the Travel Alberta team, I also wish to thank Chris Heseltine for serving as the acting CEO for the past six months. His leadership has been instrumental in supporting the Travel Alberta team and our industry partners through this difficult time,” said Southern-Heathcott.
Chris will continue as Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement for Travel Alberta with acting responsibility for Strategy, Insights and Stakeholder Engagement.
About Travel Alberta
Travel Alberta is the destination 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, 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 industry.travelalberta.com.