Travel Alberta

Let's Travel Together

Travel Alberta’s 2015-2018 Business and Marketing Plans are now available for download. 

Team Alberta has a clear goal: we will grow Alberta’s visitor economy to more than $10 billion by 2020. By continuing to build strong partnerships, we will generate a demand for alignment for the greater good of the Alberta economy.

Innovation and relevancy in tourism marketing benefits our industry, the province and the country – and these two priorities shape how Travel Alberta does business.

Tourism has emerged as one of the fastest growing and resilient economic sectors in the world. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of international tourists (overnight visitors) reached 1.13 billion in 2014, 46 million more than in 2013. With an increase of 4.7%, this is the fifth consecutive year of above average growth since the 2009 economic crisis. For 2015, UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to grow again between 3% and 4%. As of March 2015, Canada had an increase of 10.8% in overnight arrivals from overseas markets and a 7% increase from the U.S. As reported in the Alberta Tourism Market Monitor, year-over-year, Alberta had an average increase of more than 9% in international air passengers, and with new direct service into Alberta with Icelandair, KLM and Edelweiss Air, we are poised for continued growth.

According to the latest Statistics Canada data (2013), international visitors (including the U.S.) spent $1.7 billion across the province. This is all incremental revenue for communities across Alberta.

Tourism is an industry of industries. It’s a demand-side business which impacts multiple sectors far beyond hospitality and transportation.

Alberta’s tourism brand plays an important role in supporting our government to ensure a positive reputation is conveyed throughout the world. Tourism drives trade. Trade drives tourism.

Tourism sales flow through the Alberta economy resulting in jobs, wages and taxes. In fact, tourism directly supports 127,000 jobs, 19,000 tourism operators and $4 billion in tax revenue to all levels of government. Alberta’s brand and global reputation affects GDP, exports, trade and revenue. And tourism expenditures have a spillover effect impacting culture, housing, education and health care. Tourism and community development go hand-in-hand. The money invested into our local economy by visitors circulates throughout Alberta several times over, providing ongoing economic impact.

And there is untapped potential. We need to continue investigating new markets, finding innovative ways to reach potential travellers and address issues of access and infrastructure to keep our product and experiences fresh. 

Travel Alberta will lead in this strategy by taking a global approach to marketing, evolving our business to inspire the digitally connected traveller, driving awareness of Alberta’s brand and supporting Alberta’s tourism marketing partners to grow their own businesses.

This strategy is proven and consistent. Our 2015-2018 objectives remain on course, with subtle shifts in focus.

Destinations around the globe are vying for Alberta’s same customer. There is serious competition – from both emerging and traditional markets – working to target the same travellers we are. We know Albertans want to see the world just as we want travellers globally to visit Alberta. We want to remain relevant to Albertans so they spend their weekends and free time exploring their own backyard. Albertans are our advocates of experiences close to home. At the same time, it’s critical that we expand our focus and inspire international visitors to come experience what this beautiful province has to offer. This is how we will drive incremental revenue for Alberta.

Because of this climate, we must evaluate our own structure so that we can position our organization – and by extension our industry and province – competitively, and continue to be efficient and relevant as a leading destination management and marketing organization. Thus, teams that recognize content as the DNA of their organization will lead the race to inspire travellers.

Heading into the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Travel Alberta will reorganize ourselves around core lines of business:

Global Consumer Marketing, Business Development, and Industry Development.

The world of marketing has changed and it’s critical that we focus on capturing the digitally connected traveller.

With a reduced marketing budget of $54.4 million, it’s possible to make an impact in a highly competitive marketplace.

We have big goals, and our performance targets are detailed extensively in this strategy. Transparently sharing our targets – and reporting against them – provides insight for our tourism partners and continues to drive integration and advocacy with all of our stakeholders.

Travel Alberta’s success as a Provincial Marketing Organization (PMO) is directly tied to our ability to partner. Future growth and investment requires a competitive and collaborative strategy. No one tourism entity can do this in isolation. Working with provincial partners such as Destination BC and our national partner Destination Canada is critical to growing market share.

Risk and uncertainty present real and imminent road blocks to our goals. Influencing factors include competitiveness, workforce challenges, air and land access, product development, value of experience, capacity for growth, and tourism data capture and research.

We are committed to working with our colleagues in the Ministry of Alberta Culture and Tourism, Alberta’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and our industry operators to address these risks and create a positive climate for further tourism investment and growth.

I believe I have the best job in the world and am so proud to be part of Team Alberta. It’s an honour to work with such an inspired group of tourism marketing leaders.

Royce Chwin

Travel Alberta Team Member

President and CEO
Travel Alberta