The travel industry is a central player in Alberta’s economy. In 2019, Alberta welcomed 34.7 million visits. The tourism sector generated $8.2 billion in revenue, supported by 20,000 businesses, and accounted for 68,000 jobs in communities throughout the province.
Alberta Tourism Indicators include an Alberta tourism industry dashboard with the most current visitation statistics, trends, consumer demand and resident sentiment.
Alberta’s tourism sector is anchored in the province’s natural beauty. The diverse landscapes of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, five iconic national parks and 75 provincial parks across the province provide the ideal playground for outdoor adventures year-round. From hiking and glamping in the summer, skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to dark sky experiences and wildlife viewing throughout the year, Alberta offers tremendous opportunities to build and grow businesses around exploring the great outdoors across the province.
Authentic Indigenous experiences
Alberta acknowledges we are on traditional lands of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. We respect the traditional territories of Treaty 6, 7, 8, 4 and 10 and the diverse histories and cultures of all the indigenous Peoples of this province. Indigenous tourism has been a growing sector to share the unique balance of authentic culture in today’s contemporary world throughout Alberta. Travelers are seeking full immersion experiences in local culture leading to personal growth and actualization, and the growing Indigenous experiences in Alberta are meeting that demand. In 2019, Indigenous tourism in Alberta contributed an estimated $166.2 million in GDP through 125 Indigenous businesses.
Albertans are welcoming and big-hearted. While visitors can experience the sense of western hospitality across the province, it’s mid-sized cities and small towns where these experiences may shine the most. The abundance of unique experiences spans from dinosaur adventures, wellness retreats, historic mining tours, traditional tea ceremonies, agri-tourism, wildlife sanctuaries, ranch stays, to guided fishing tours. The pride of place in welcoming guests is the greater human connection so consistently shared across Alberta experiences.
Connected vacation hubs
With easy global access through two of the largest international airports, Edmonton and Calgary are gateways to Alberta adventures and a connected home base for travellers. The award winning creative culinary and craft brewery scenes in both cities are matched by the breadth of arts and lifestyle activities to explore. More than $3 billion in tourism developments are currently under construction in Alberta, the commitment to grow the sector also invite further growth in accommodations and food services industries.
Travel has become less about collecting social badges and more about experiences that allow us to get beneath the surface, connecting with both ourselves and the place/people we visit. It’s about self-actualization: reaching our full potential and being the best version of ourselves. Demonstrate that Canada offers meaningful experiences, from activities in pristine and remote environments to the cultural experiences, and intellectually stimulating urban escapes. We want to position Canada as a destination that allows travellers to get beneath the surface of a “Top 10 List”. As we rebuild our marketing efforts, we will work the ITAC across our markets and verticals to communicate the value and opportunity for greater human connection of Indigenous experiences to communities and visitors.
Areas of Focus
World-class mountain destinations
World’s largest dark sky preserves
Global hotspot for downhill skiing and hiking
Wildlife viewing opportunities
Leveraging the province’s incredibly unique assets, nature-based tourism is foundational to the Albertan identity. A virtually limitless list of activities awaits in all four seasons.
Authentic cultural experiences
Indigenous art & performances
Wellness and survivalist experiences
Second largest Indigenous population in Canada (Edmonton)
With more and more international travellers looking for authentic Indigenous experiences, Indigenous tourism is outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall. In 2019, the sector was estimated to have contributed $166.2 million to Alberta’s GDP.
Sport and Recreation Tourism
First-class high performance training centre
Professional sports teams
Top sporting event destination
Largest stretch of urban parkland in North America
Alberta is globally renowned as a first-class training centre for high performance winter and summer athletes and hosts teams and athletes from every corner of the planet.
Culinary and Agri-Tourism
Growing craft beer and spirits industry
Farm and ranch tours
Alberta Open Farm Days
Culinary tourism is an opportunity to experience a “taste of place” through locally produced and prepared food and drink that reflects the history, heritage, and culture of this one-of-a-kind culture.
Backcountry boutique lodges
Guest ranch and farm stays
Hotels, motels & inns
Bed & breakfasts
With more than $3 billion in tourism developments underway in Alberta, the commitment to grow the sector also invite further growth in hotel developments and unique stays across the province.
Alberta is served by three busy international airports, in Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray
International overnight person visits in 2019
Passengers to Alberta’s international airports — a 38% increase from 2011-2019
Alberta has service to 31 destinations in Canada, 24 in the U.S., and 25 internationally — ranking second in Canada in domestic and transborder seats per capita, and fourth internationally
Alberta enjoys an extremely well-developed tourism economy
Total Person Visits (2019)
Tourism expenditures (Travel Alberta, 2019)
Contributed to Alberta’s GDP (Travel Alberta, 2019)
Tourism-related businesses in Alberta (Travel Alberta, 2019)
More than $3 billion in tourism developments currently under construction in Alberta
Tourism Jobs (Statistics Canada, 2019)
Alberta is home one of Canada’s national carriers and two of Canada’s ultra-low-cost airlines
Alberta’s tourism economy is anchored in its breathtaking vistas, limitless recreational opportunities and legendary events
Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
The Calgary Stampede generates over $345 million in economic benefit annually
Stunning mountain parks
7.1M visitors to Alberta’s three major national parks (Alberta Tourism Market Monitor, 2019)
Every season is festival season
Edmonton hosts more than 50 festivals every year — in both summer and winter
Outstanding natural beauty
Alberta boasts six of Canada’s 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Sports & entertainment
Edmonton’s Ice District will be one of the largest sports and entertainment districts in the country
Alberta is a centre for high performance training and world cup competitions
Alberta StoriesSee All Alberta Stories
WestJet: a made-in-Alberta success story
When WestJet made its first flight in 1996, the Calgary-based airline only served Western Canada. WestJet flew more than 3 million guests in the first two years of its existence, and by 2006 became an international carrier. Today, WestJet flies to more than 100 destinations and has even launched a new low-cost airline called Swoop.Read More
Canadian Pacific connects Alberta to the rest of North America
A global leader in rail, Canadian Pacific (CP) is headquartered in Calgary. Operating over 20,000 kilometres of rail spanning across Canada and into the United States, CP moves products efficiently across North America. The company’s headquarters positions Alberta as a central hub of global supply chains and freight shipping.Read More
Alberta’s tourism sector is strong and growing.
Alberta’s tourism companies are creating incredible experiences for all visitors — from near and far.