Alberta’s Tourism Framework

Growing to a $10.3 billion provincial industry

By Stewart McDonough

A new plan is in place to grow Alberta’s tourism industry from a $7.8 billion to $10.3 billion industry by 2020. The Tourism Framework was developed by the Alberta government and Travel Alberta and is about trading industry competition for collaboration – unifying and focusing efforts to meet the needs of travellers from Alberta, Canada and around the world.

“Alberta’s tourism industry is complex with many organizations involved. Having a common plan will help us to align our efforts, maximize resources, make a stronger impact in the marketplace, diversify our economy and build Alberta.”
-Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation

The new Alberta Tourism Framework will maximize the potential of the tourism industry to: 

  • create jobs in all regions of the province; 
  • encourage investment to further diversify Alberta’s economy; and
  • showcase Alberta to the world and potential residents.

Alignment towards shared goals and integration of activities and energy across the province can only strengthen local tourism efforts. International and long-haul travellers typically choose the country first and then the province before settling on a specific destination. For Calgary a stronger more focused provincial marketing effort will mean growth locally.

In the past decade, due primarily to global shocks that have impacted tourism, Alberta’s tourism performance has fluctuated. Canada’s share of global tourism has fallen, and our ranking as a tourism destination has declined. 

The good news is Alberta has managed to maintain market share in domestic and international markets during this turbulent decade and is poised for growth in the coming decade.

This Framework identifies tourism opportunities that can be acted on. All regions in Alberta can improve, building tourism destinations within them with specific, exceptional tourism experiences. The tourism industry will grow by addressing tourism experience and market development in all of Alberta’s tourism regions, by providing what the traveller wants, and by tapping into new and growing markets both domestically and abroad.

The Alberta tourism brand is a pillar of the Alberta Tourism Framework. The brand will impact all areas of the Tourism Framework as the traveller centric voice that amplifies the efforts of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Travel Alberta and tourism stakeholders to develop and grow tourism activity all across Alberta.


Priority 1: Innovation and Development

Alberta actively encourages entrepreneurial investment in traveller-focused development of innovative tourism experiences, destination renewal, and new destination areas.

Priority 2: Accessibility

Access to Alberta and its tourism regions improves. Example: Increase air access to and within Alberta from priority target markets to grow inbound travel annually.

Priority 3: Marketing

Grow tourism revenues by directing the Alberta Tourism Brand at high potential markets. We will lead with authentic experiences in breathtaking landscapes that drive visitation throughout the province.

Priority 4: Alignment

Industry organizations actively align and transparently communicate their efforts in pursuit of our common goals. Example: Recognition, understanding and support of tourism as a major contributor to the Alberta economy increases within government, communities and among Albertans.

Priority 5: Research

A comprehensive, science-based research approach drives decisions. Example: A government-led research funding model prioritizes research and funds and manages delivery of high quality core, performance, and forward-looking tourism research.

To download a PDF version of this article, click here.
To view the Alberta Tourism Framework (2013-2020), click here.

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