Alberta tourism sector sees gradual gains compared to pandemic 2020

Preliminary estimates from the government of Alberta Tourism Market Monitor show visitors are slowly returning to the province and travel is gradually resuming.

The province releases the tourism market monitor monthly to update statistics related to the accommodations, service, and tourism sector.

The amount of air passengers arriving and departing from the province’s largest airports has increased by 159.7 per cent year-over-year.

Attendance at Banff and Jasper National Parks increased compared to last year’s figures throughout the summer months.

As of September, more than 3.2 million visitors went through the park gates in Banff while more than 1.9 million visited Jasper, representing a nearly 28 per cent and 27 per cent change from last year, respectively.

Hotel occupancy rates, excluding resorts, have increased every month this year, starting at 19.9 per cent in January – a 20.1 per cent drop from 2020. The latest figure available, from August, showed the hotel occupancy rate Alberta-wide at 58.9 per cent – a gain of 7.9 per cent from 2020.

The average daily room rates have also increased by $109.96, year to date.

As of September, 333,410 reservations at Alberta Parks have been made.

According to the province, the tourism industry unemployment rate is at 5.8 per cent. Unemployment for the sector peaked at 29.7 per cent in May 2020, and according to Travel Alberta, was more than double the average unemployment rate for all industries in the province combined.

At the start of this year, the unemployment rate for the tourism sector was at 22.6 per cent.

The tourism market monitor said the total projected food service and drinking places receipts, based on the latest numbers from July, were up 24.5 per cent year-over-year.