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Tourism Spend Forecasts
Travel Alberta works withTourism Economics to forecast tourism spending by market and traveller segment under several strategic scenarios based on relevant external factors. This work forms the basis of our long-term strategic framework, enabling us to anticipate risks and opportunities and adjust as conditions evolve.
The latest forecast was completed in January 2023.
Economy contracts slightly in the first half of 2023, but growth resumes quickly
The Baseline Scenario appears to be the most likely based on the conditions at the time of publishing.
Total tourism spending in Alberta is on pace to return to 2019 levels in 2023.
Domestic: Spending by Albertans already recovered in 2022 and spending from the rest of Canada is expected to exceed 2019 levels this year.
International: Spend from the U.S. and overseas is likely to recover in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
After declining by 55% in 2020, tourism expenditures grew by approximately 40% in 2021 and then an estimated 47% in 2022. This number is likely to grow by another 8% in 2023.
In 2022, the Canadian Rockies and rural areas attracted a considerable share of the overall travel spending in Alberta. Travellers were drawn to open spaces and outdoor recreation. The recovery of tourism spending in the two major cities will take time as travel for business, conventions and events rebuild.
Prior to the pandemic, travellers spent the most on transportation while food and beverage was second and accommodation was third. However, in 2022, food and beverage spending led all categories. Transportation is forecasted to recover in 2025 with the return of international and business travellers and is expected to grow at 5.4% on an average annual basis from 2025 to 2035.