Alberta plans to push for more tourism in national parks in 2016

EDMONTON -- A low Canadian dollar has opened a window of travel opportunity that Alberta plans to take full advantage of, says Tourism Minister David Eggen.

See Full Article

Eggen says the province will do that by expanding travel opportunities beyond the traditional powerhouse attractions of Banff and Jasper.

"We've seen over the last couple of years record revenues and crowds into the mountain parks," he said in a year-end interview. "A lot of people have it as part of their bucket list. We just want to kind of expand on that.

"We need to be more aggressive and have more partnerships with the tourist industry."

Expansion and partnering are the pillars of a seven-year plan, launched in 2013 under the former Progressive Conservative government, to grow tourism revenue by one-third to $10.3 billion.

Eggen said the heavy lifting will still be done by skiers, hikers, kayakers, sightseers and other visitors who stream into Banff and Jasper.

But new frontiers are opening up such as the Castle Wilderness region in Alberta's southwest corner. In September, the province announced two parks in the region -- one for camping, the second for back-country pursuits.

Eggen pointed to other attractions not that far away that include Waterton Lakes National Park, Fort Macleod and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

"I want to give it more camping and hotel capacity and to package it together with the attractions that they have," he said. "Working closely with the people down there, we can really create another mountain tourism destination."

Eggen is also looking to expand snowmobile tourism in places such as Grande Cache and Lac La Biche.

Add to that an agreement with Francophone Economic Development Council of Alberta to create a video and promote the province in trade shows to bring more Quebecers out west.

And Pomeroy Lodging LP committed this fall to a $26-million upgrade of the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.

Alberta also is looking to secure more direct flights from Asia and is trying to bring in more visitors from U.S. destinations in Texas and southern California, who can already get to Alberta in one airplane ride.

Eggen said he is impressed by British Columbia's aggressive tourism strategy. Sitting in a restaurant in Pincher Creek recently, he said he spied a rack of tourism pamphlets -- all for destinations in B.C.

The province excels at turning "lemons into lemonade," he said. One example is how the former Kettle Valley railway was transformed into a scenic, high-altitude mountain bike adventure.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Takata Corp. files for bankruptcy in Japan and U.S. following air bag recalls

    Economic Toronto Sun
    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators. The company announced the expected action Monday morning Tokyo time. Source
  • From condoms to caskets: merchandise marks Canada's 150th birthday

    Economic CBC News
    It's been said that Canadians are not brash about their patriotism, but you wouldn't know it from the variety of merchandise, big and small, being snapped up in advance of Canada's 150th birthday July 1. From T-shirts to hats, flags to flasks, condoms to caskets, goods adorned with celebratory logos are popping up faster than you can say sesquicentennial. Source
  • Canadian lumber producers brace for second round of softwood lumber duties

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Canada's softwood lumber industry is bracing for a second wave of U.S. duties expected to come Monday that could put further pressure on producers, particularly smaller ones, to cut jobs. The U.S. Source
  • Warning labels might be coming to cheese: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know from CBC-TV's Marketplace. Get this in your inbox every Friday. Sign up here. Fake drugs American prosecutors accuse CanadaDrugs.com and its CEO Kris Thorkelson of selling unapproved and counterfeit cancer drugs to U.S. Source
  • Debt, protectionism could drag down improving global economy

    Economic CTV News
    FRANKFURT -- The global economy has picked up and prospects for the next few months are the best in a long time. But the recovery is maturing and faces risks from populist rejection of free trade and from high debt that could burden consumers and companies as interest rates rise. Source
  • Air bag maker Takata bankruptcy expected Monday

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States early Monday. Takata was done in by defective air bag inflators that can explode with too much force, spewing out shrapnel. Source
  • Air bag maker Takata files for bankruptcy in Japan, U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators. The company announced the expected action Monday morning Tokyo time. Source
  • How Sears' troubles could hasten radical change in Canada's malls

    Economic CBC News
    Sears' plan to shut down 59 of its locations is grim news for the chain's landlords across Canada. Could it also spell doom for the nation's neighbourhood malls? Anchor tenants — typically big department stores — have always been a critical component of mall design. Source
  • Proposed rules for CRA amnesty program could expose more tax-cheat advisers

    Economic CBC News
    The Canada Revenue Agency is tightening its amnesty program for tax cheats, including a proposed rule that could expose more of the shady advisers who set up dodgy tax schemes to help clients hide their money. Source
  • Italian PM 'guarantees' savers' accounts in 2 troubled banks

    Economic CTV News
    ROME -- Italy's premier says holders of accounts in two troubled Italian banks will have their savings guaranteed despite insolvency proceedings. Premier Paolo Gentiloni was referring to Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, each struggling with unpaid loans. Source