The tourism market is already returning with air passenger traffic up 151 per cent from September 2020 to 2021. Once borders fully open and the air is filled with full flights, Alberta’s reputation as a must-see destination will only grow.
And there is so much to see. From urban centres with world class galleries and food experiences to wilderness adventures for a glimpse of wild bison or the northern lights, the visitor economy is on the rise. The province’s Rocky Mountain parks are world famous, but families can also explore some of the world’s best deposits of dinosaur fossils in Drumheller, only 90 minutes from Calgary. Or drive just 30 minutes from the Edmonton International Airport and see one of the great gardens of the world — the Aga Khan Garden — located at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.
Annual tourism expenditures by tourists in Alberta
Annual amount contributed to Alberta’s GDP by tourism
Number of world’s largest replicas in Alberta, including golf tee, mushroom and oil lamp
in-person visits to Alberta per year
Number of full-time tourism jobs in Alberta
Sources: Government of Alberta, Statistics Canada, Travel Alberta
Frontier of Outdoor Experience
Mackenzie County is Alberta’s largest county, accounting for 12 per cent of the province’s total landmass. And it’s majestic.
With mountains, rolling hills and no fewer than six lakes, the region is 700 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and offers sights and activities to suit any recreational urge. Numerous parks provide facilities for athletic pursuits ranging from golf to fishing. And venturing off the beaten path, hiking and horse trails lead the way across scenic vistas among the region’s majestic pines and poplars.
Whether visitors take advantage of the convenient amenities at a camping facility, or prefer the comforts of indoor accommodations, there’s no shortage of opportunities to commune with the wilderness and its diverse wildlife. With two provincial parks in the area, and more rugged nature beyond, visitors are likely to spot moose, bears, deer, foxes, eagles and other creatures who call this landscape their home.
Whatever form the adventure takes, the Mackenzie Frontier Tourist Association is ready to provide guidance.
A Luxury Fairytale
Nestled among the stately pine and ash forests adorning the Rocky Mountains, Crowsnest Pass is located in southwest Alberta and is a magical place that just became a little more enchanting with the opening of a new luxury camping facility in the area.
Charmed Family Resorts allows campers to literally enter fairy tale worlds by staying in one of its imaginative, themed cottages. Built by Lethbridge County’s Charmed Cottages, the luxury playhouse company featured on the TLC television network, these whimsical getaways recreate storybook worlds and allow visitors to enjoy their fantasies in the midst of the south-western Alberta wilderness, while still enjoying many of the comforts of a quality hotel.
Campers can easily access urban amenities in the town, while not sacrificing the atmosphere of an enchanted woods. And because Charmed Resorts is open year round, with heated properties available in winter months, the book never closes on these fairytale camping experiences for the whole family.
Explore Spectacular Scenery
Experiential tourism is at the leading edge of the Canadian tourism industry — and so is Battle River, the region of east-central Alberta. More than merely a change of scenery, the area offers unique opportunities to connect to the land and its peoples through authentic experiences.
With over 1,000 kilometres of trails at over 100 parks, campgrounds and natural areas, there’s a thrilling array of year-round outdoors activities. There’s a similar variety of wildlife, including the bird species in the Beaverhill Lake bird sanctuary.
Battle River also provides access to the deeply embedded heritage of the region’s Indigenous peoples through the Bodo Archaeological Site. One of the largest and most well-preserved in Western Canada, it contains millenia-old resources that visitors can help unearth by participating in the ongoing archaeological excavation.