The Value of the Visitor Economy
We know the ways that travel can impact each of our lives, discovering new places, experiencing new cultures, learning and growing. There is a transformative power to travel, and it matters deeply to many of us.
But did you know that tourism plays a huge role right here at home too?
From bricks-and-mortar stores to transportation services to activity centres, each rely on the tourism industry to draw visitors to our city who will, in turn, contribute to Edmonton's prosperity. More visitors means more dollars going into our local businesses. Not only does the visitor economy create jobs and generate revenue, but it also drives awareness to our amazing city, in turn inspiring people to make it their home.
In partnership with the City of Edmonton, our stakeholders, community partners, and businesses that depend on revenues from the tourism industry, Explore Edmonton works to increase the impact of tourism in our city.
Did You Know
Tourism is a huge economic engine in Canada, Alberta, and Edmonton!
One in 10 Canadian jobs (9.8%) is tied to tourism. That's over 1.9 million jobs! Tourism jobs fall within all regions across Canada, and it is the only sector that employs Canadians in every province, territory and electoral riding.
In Alberta, nearly 10% of the province’s jobs are attributable to tourism-related business activities. In 2019, tourism directly contributed to more jobs across Canada (748,000 direct jobs) than jobs directly generated by agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas industries combined (620,140 direct jobs).
In 2019, tourism-related spending in Alberta hit almost $9 billion, supporting 19,000 businesses and 127,000 tourism-related jobs. What does this mean for Edmonton? Just over 6 million visitors annually, nearly $2 billion spent in our economy, supporting thousands of jobs and hundreds of small and medium sized businesses.
Sporting events, meetings, conventions, festivals, our food scene, our arts scene, our museums and symphony, our river valley and access to the Rocky Mountains are all ingredients in the Edmonton secret sauce. This is what makes our city pop and enhances the quality of life for Edmontonians.
When we talk about Edmonton’s visitor economy, we often share a lot of stats, but our industry is so much more than just numbers. It’s made up of all these unique businesses created by incredible and inspiring individuals.
Their businesses matter. Their stories matter. Tourism Matters.
Edmonton needs the people in tourism and their businesses to help us build back better than ever. And Edmontonians can have a huge impact just by doing three simple things:
1. Tell your friends and family to come for a visit and see how incredible Edmonton is for themselves.
2. Like and share social media posts from your favourite local spots – restaurants, shops, performance venues, the river valley.
3. Go out and have fun! Hit a patio, buy tickets to a festival, or do a Segway tour of the river valley. This will support the local things we love so they’re here to welcome the world back.
The vibrancy of our community and the economic recovery of our city depend on tourism. The time to rebuild the tourism and hospitality industry is now. Continuing to welcome visitors back to Edmonton, safely, will boost our economy and accelerate our journey to recovery.
Tourism Master Plan
In the Fall of 2020, Explore Edmonton embarked on a process to develop our city’s first Tourism Master Plan, a 10-year framework aimed at providing a common vision for growth and investment with tourism industry partners.