Alberta is a tourist destination due to its natural beauty, rocky mountain parks, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage sites, cosmopolitan attractions, and its many interesting rural destinations.

Two of Alberta’s tourism subsectors (accommodations and food services) are significant employers in the province. In addition to creating jobs, the tourism industry stimulates investment in new infrastructure, promotes development, and increases consumer spending.

Tourism activity is measured not only by the numbers of visitors to Alberta and how much they spend, but also by using metrics related to tourism sub-sectors. These include travel metrics, such as air passengers and highway counts, accommodations metrics, such as occupancy and room rates, and food services metrics, such as spending at restaurants.

Travel Alberta is the Government of Alberta’s destination management organization. It drives the growth of the province’s visitor economy, creating and promoting must-visit destinations throughout the province.

Key indicators

Additional indicators


United States tourists make up the largest subset of direct international air travellers visiting Alberta

Tourists coming from the United States make up the largest subset of direct international air traffic coming into Alberta. This is due to a number of factors, the largest being this metric only accounts for direct air traffic arrivals, not those who may be coming from outside of North America but first have a layover in another Canadian city such as Toronto or Vancouver. Additionally, Calgary and Edmonton have more connections to the United States than to other countries.

See more Alberta international air visitor arrival data here

Tourism employment dominated by the food and beverage industry

Tourism is made up of five major subindustries: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. About half of Alberta’s tourism employment is in the food and beverage industry. Recreation and entertainment and transportation are also significant tourism employers.

See more Alberta tourism employment data here

Alberta resorts occupancy outperforms the rest of Alberta 

Alberta’s accommodation occupancy rate (excluding Alberta resorts) typically hovers around 50% each year. Due to seasonality in the tourism industry, the occupancy rate tends to be higher in the summer season (July and August) than the rest of the year. Occupancy rates in Alberta’s resorts typically outperform the rest of Alberta for most of the year.

See more Alberta accommodation occupancy rate data here