COVID-19 Wilts Wild Rose Tourism: Alberta’s Travel Markets Outlook to 2024

The Conference Board of Canada, 13 pages, February 24, 2021
Issue briefing
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This report contains a review of and outlook for tourism activity in Alberta, assessing the impact on tourism of COVID-19 and the public health restrictions. It examines domestic, U.S., and overseas activity as well as considering the situation in both Calgary and Edmonton.

Document Highlights

  • After the accommodation and food services sector’s performance was critically hampered in 2020, tourism in Alberta is forecast to recover only gradually over the next four years. Total overnight visits to the province will increase in 2021 but will not reach their pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
  • Tourism-related industries have been bolstered by many government support measures through 2020. In June 2020, the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta also released A Call for Action with many recommendations for accelerating the recovery of the tourism industry.
  • Alberta’s tourist operators, faced with border closures and travel restrictions, switched to catering to domestic travellers in 2020. Yet regional recommendations against non-essential travel throughout much of last year pressured many Albertans to stay home instead.
  • The more lucrative international visitor market was essentially cut off from visiting Alberta in 2020.
  • The province is home to plentiful outdoor destinations and attractions that make for easier social distancing, so Alberta’s tourism market fits the bill for what travellers will likely be looking for as travel resumes.

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