Travel Alberta

2018 Canada's West Marketplace Scholarship Program

Travel Alberta’s strategy is to target high potential international markets with export-ready experiences. The Canada’s West Marketplace Scholarship Program is designed to help industry showcase Alberta travel experiences to international tour operators at the annual Canada’s West Marketplace. Attracting more than 120 international tour operators and wholesalers from Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, Canada’s West Marketplace is the most effective way for Alberta tourism suppliers to present their products, experiences and services to tourism buyers from around the world. 

The Canada’s West Marketplace Scholarship Program is an innovative program that assists Alberta-based tourism businesses that offer export-ready products or services. The program provides financial support and coaching to attend Canada’s West Marketplace. 

Travel Alberta Investment

Scholarship Recipient Cost

Year One 2018 – Alberta

75% of registration fees, accommodation and transportation expenses for one delegate

25% (estimated at $700)

Year Two 2019 – British Columbia

75% of registration fees, accommodation and transportation expenses for one delegate

25% (estimated at $850)

Year Three 2020 – Alberta

50% of registration fees, accommodation and transportation expenses for one delegate

50% (estimated at $1,100)

Program Criteria

Scholars only qualify for Travel Alberta investment per the applicable year of the program after successfully attending CWM Marketplace during that year. The Travel Alberta scholarship program supports one delegate per organization per marketplace. Additional delegates pay applicable registration fees per CWM policies. The program is not applicable to Alberta suppliers exclusively offering accommodations or transportation services, municipal or regional services, or destination marketing organizations.

Travel Alberta Selection Criteria
  • The candidate organization should offer an “experience” (a travel experience engages the sense and makes connection on an emotional, physical, spiritual, or intellectual level).
  • The experience meets international demand.
  • The candidate organization should have a successful domestic marketing plan and adequate marketing budget, and presently administrate/manage bookings online.
  • Offer booking confirmation online or via email with a 24-hour turnaround.
  • Understand the concept of Net Rates (which is typically at least 20% below the published rate). (Per CWM criteria, candidates must offer a Net Rate).
  • Have an active quality assurance program to ensure the experience maintains a high standard. 
  • A commitment to targeting international markets for at least three years.
  • Willingness to adapt the experience to serve the needs of overseas clients.
  • Interest in aligning marketing with the Alberta tourism brand and Travel Alberta marketing programs.
Canada’s West Marketplace Seller Organization Criteria

Proven Track Record and Safety

  • The supplier must be in business at least one year, with a proven track record for safe and professional operation (measured by the norms of the tourism sector they are operating within). 
  • The supplier must carry adequate insurance (example:  minimum $3 million liability insurance for an adventure product supplier is recommended).  
  • The supplier's business and required operating licenses must be current.

Inquiries and Reservations

  • The supplier must be able to accept reservations and deal with inquiries by telephone, fax or Internet on a year-round basis. 
  • The supplier must be able to provide confirmation of booking arrangements within 24 hours. 


  • The supplier must be able to demonstrate an adequate budget and marketing plan that includes international travel trade activities.  Travel trade includes but is not limited to tour operators, wholesalers, receptive tour operators, retail travel agents and retail consortia. 
  • The supplier must be able to demonstrate an adequate knowledge and understanding of the roles played by receptive tour operators (RTOs), tour operators/travel wholesalers, and retail travel agents.  This includes an understanding of rack and/or retail pricing, agent commissions and wholesale net rates; and client relationships at each level. 
  • The supplier must be able to provide travel trade and media clients with CD ROM or standard computer format images of the product or operation.  These are for use in brochures, promotions and editorials.

Contracting and Payments

  • The supplier must be willing to provide contracted wholesale net rates if working with receptive tour operators.  General requirements are:  
    • 15 per cent off the retail price for day activities and transportation 
    • 20-30 per cent off retail pricing for accommodations (higher discounts common for volume production) 
  • The supplier must honour contracted net rate and conditions and refrain from raising prices and changing conditions before the expiry of the contracted agreement.  The supplier should have a solid understanding of the laws that affect/impact their clients in each market. 
  • The supplier must provide detailed pricing and program information at least one year to 18 months in advance of selling season. 
  • It is the responsibility of the supplier to set up billing arrangements with the operator, agency or receptive tour operator. 
  • The supplier must accept client vouchers as confirmation of payment for reservations. 
  • Invoicing operator for payment to be remitted within 30 days is the standard.  It is not feasible for an international operator to provide separate deposits and/or payment for each booking.

Relevant Dates:
  • Deadline to apply for Canada’s West Marketplace Scholarship program: May 18, 2018
  • Selected applicants will be contacted before June 8, 2018
  • Deadline for seller payments: September 2018
  • Canada’s West Marketplace: November 2018 in Banff, Alberta

Canada's West Marketplace Application Form 2018

For more information, contact

Here’s a look at how the scholarship program has supported tourism businesses.