Industry comes together to find ways to boost Alberta tourism
Last year was record breaking for the number of visitors to Canada generating more than $102 billion to the economy. In Alberta, tourism generates $8.5 billion each year.
Tourism leaders from across the country are looking for ways to continue to grow Canada and Alberta’s tourism industry.
"You know we are doing well. We have momentum. I think it's time for us to do more. And to take that momentum and to take it to the next level,” said Charlotte Bell of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
Another area of the industry that is growing fast is Indigenous tourism.
"The leadership in Indigenous tourism has really banded together and recognized the opportunity,” said Royce Chwin, CEO of Travel Alberta.
"People are seeking authentic experiences. They're seeking that connection to the land, the connection to community and Metis people have that. And we want to share it with others,” added Juanita Marois, development manager for Metis Crossing.
While tourism grows, officials said the industry is experiencing a labour shortage, with businesses struggling to find and retain employees.
“There has been a labour crisis for quite some time. And there continues to be. And I think it's only going to get worse obviously if we don't do things to address it," said Bell.
The group plans to lobby the federal government to increase funding in the hospitality and tourism industry.
With files from Sarah Plowman...