Creating a climate to support tourism

The Government of Alberta recognizes the important role that tourism plays in helping to diversify the provincial economy. The government’s strategic focus is on positioning Alberta as an attractive and preferred travel destination and facilitating the development of marketable tourism products, new travel destinations, and a policy and regulatory environment that supports tourism.

In 2005, the government enacted the Tourism Levy Act which created a sustainable funding source for provincial tourism marketing and development programs. The four percent Tourism Levy is applied at hotels, lodges and other fixed roof accommodation, and collected and remitted to the Government of Alberta. The funds collected provide the basis for the tourism marketing and development activities carried out by Travel Alberta and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism respectively.

Effective April 2009, Travel Alberta became a provincial Crown corporation and continues to market Alberta as a tourism destination regionally, nationally and internationally. It also assists Alberta’s tourism industry market and sell their product. Its marketing programs are based on partnership and collaboration with industry stakeholders. Funding to support the marketing efforts of Travel Alberta is approximately $50 million.

The Alberta government continues to take a lead role in advocating to the federal government the province’s need for Canada to negotiate more Open Skies air service agreements with countries that will benefit Alberta from a tourism, trade and investment perspective. The province of Alberta signed an unprecedented agreement in the fall of 2009 with the province of British Columbia and Saskatchewan that outlined Western Canada support for Open Skies air service agreements with other nations.

Facilitating tourism business development and investment

The Alberta government through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism works to identify land-based, tourism development opportunities in Alberta and share this information with entrepreneurs and investors. Culture and Tourism undertakes a range of initiatives to facilitate tourism development and investment: 

  • Joint Venture Tourism Investment Opportunities: There are Alberta companies involved in the hotel and resort sectors that have established developments in Alberta, with proven management teams and business acumen. A number of companies are seeking joint venture investment partners for expansions to existing properties in Alberta or to undertake new projects elsewhere in the province. Opportunities can range from $20 million to over $500 million.  The ministry works to facilitate linkages between potential investors and these Alberta based companies.
  • Regional Investment Opportunities: The Ministry also undertakes high-level investment opportunity assessments to identify potential land-based, for-profit tourism development opportunities in different areas of the province. A number of areas have been studied, and these reports are available through the Ministry.
  • Tourism Investment Attraction Missions: Investment attraction missions are undertaken to identify new sources of capital for tourism development projects in Alberta. These missions also represent opportunities that may be appealing to foreign business entrepreneurs wishing to immigrate to Alberta. Staff from the Ministry will work with off-shore investors and entrepreneurs wishing to explore tourism business opportunities in Alberta.  
  • Business Information and Advice: Ministry officials will meet with entrepreneurs and investors to identify their needs and direct them to potential opportunities. As well, they can provide business advisory services to help assess the opportunities. The Ministry’s services can also be accessed through any of the Government of Alberta’s International Offices.

For more information about these services, visit Invest in Alberta’s Tourism Industry on the Culture and Tourism, or contact Alberta Culture and Tourism, Business Development and Investment, 780-422-4991, 310-0000 (toll-free), tourism-entrepreneurship@gov.ab.ca

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