Our observations during the summer of 2015 was the visitation to the Mountain National Parks in Western Canada was up sharply in 2015 over visitation in 2014. Since the summer, as we have spoken with our clients within the parks, along the Cowboy Trail and in and around Kananaskis Country, most have confirmed that their 2015 sales were up between 6% and 30% over 2014.
Travel Alberta has recently confirmed our observations and the feedback from our clients, by reporting:
“Though the final numbers for 2015 visitation will not be complete until February, as of October 2015, Statistics Canada reports that Canada has experienced an overall increase in international visitors of 7.3%. This includes significant growth from the United States, and continued growth in China – two of our most important markets.
We have also seen great numbers from Brazil and Mexico (partly due to the draw of the Pan Am games in July), South Korea, as well as steady visitation from our European markets. Hopefully with the implementation of Connecting America funding, strong industry advocacy, and the value of the Canadian dollar, tourism will stay the course for continued growth in 2016!”
FORECAST FOR 2016
We would agree with Statistics Canada. Given the great value of the safe Canadian experience, the number of international tourists within Western Canada during 2016 will continue to grow. That, combined with the growing Canadian trend of the Staycation, should cause the tourism industry to be a bright spot within the Canadian economy, and especially here in Alberta!