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Travel Alberta has been working with Tourism Economics throughout the pandemic to develop and update forecasted tourism expenditures to 2030. These forecasts examine anticipated multiple-year impacts on the industry and recovery timelines, factoring in changing circumstances, such as the Canadian border opening for fully vaccinated travellers, and the fourth wave of the virus.

The latest forecast was completed in October 2021.

Scenarios Covid Situation Notable Increase in International Tourism Notable Increase in Business and Group Travel
Upside Increased vaccinations and no new variants of concern Spring of 2022 Spring of 2022
Baseline Variants and virus waves become less common and smaller Summer of 2022 Summer of 2022
Downside A new major setback occurs Summer of 2023 Fall of 2023
Recovery Forecast

The Baseline Scenario appears to be the most likely based on the conditions at the time of publishing.

Highlights

  • While tourism spending fell by an estimated 43 per cent last year to $4.7 billion, spending levels are projected to climb to $5.3 billion, or 65 per cent of 2019 levels, this year. 
  • Total tourism spending is expected to return to 2019 levels in 2024, tracking with the goal in Travel Alberta’s Bootstrap business plan:
    • Regional by 2022
    • Rest of Canada and the U.S. by 2024
    • Overseas by 2025
  • Tourism Economics also developed three-year forecasts of hotel revenues for the province using the organization’s proprietary econometric models that track and forecast hotel performance globally. Room revenues are forecast to rebound to 94 per cent of 2019 levels, to $2.6 billion, by 2022—led by an expected strong surge in bookings next summer.

Full Report