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A banner year for Canadian tourism is good news for Alberta

Not everyone likes math, at least until the numbers start adding up. For tourism in 2017, the numbers added up to a banner year in Canada, with a record 20.83 million visitors pouring into the country.

More than 30 per cent of those arrivals were from overseas, making up the largest influx of overseas visitors to date. The last time Canadian tourism hit this kind of high (or close to it with 20.3 million visits), Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” was burning up the charts and Canadians were listening to it on Apple’s second-generation 20G iPod. Yes, it’s been a while.

The larger trend here is that Canada continues to grow as a sophisticated, globally-recognized destination and the economic impact of growth is significant. In fact, Canada’s travel and tourism sector grew 50 per cent faster than the greater economy, according to major new research released today by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). That number translates to an influx of just shy of $140 billion into the Canadian economy, up 4.5 per cent versus the three per cent growth of the wider economy. Ever more important are the 1.6 million jobs related to travel and tourism – close to ten per cent of total Canadian employment in 2017.

To build on this momentum here in Alberta is to continue the digital show-and-tell style marketing through ATIS and across all social media channels – growing awareness in global markets unbound by traditional marketing tactics (and budgets). Destination awareness of this province is the first step to creating jobs and economic benefits related to tourism right here at home. Thousands of jobs and businesses across Alberta count on visitors at home and abroad visit – but you have to build it before they will come. 

Motivated? Why not get started with a few tips and tricks in our ATIS resource hub? Better yet, share your ideas with the tourism community @TravelAlbertaCo under the hashtag #TourismWorks

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