October 19, 2016 12:59 pm

Record number of foreign tourists fly into Alberta in August: ATB Financial

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A record number of foreign tourists flew to Alberta at the end of the summer to check out what the province has to offer.

According to ATB Financial, 78,000 foreign visitors came to Alberta by air in August, a record high. Total foreign visits by air were up three per cent over the past year compared to the previous 12 months.

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ATB Financial said the number of non-US visitors has grown substantially over the last few months, now accounting for about four in 10 visitors arriving by air. Much of the increase is a result of new non-stop flights between Calgary and Beijing, according to the economics team.

Stephen Poirier of the Calgary Airport Authority said the new flight is estimated to create 625 new jobs in Alberta’s tourism and provide a $76-million boost in gross domestic product.

ATB Financial said the number doesn’t tell the whole story about Alberta tourism because it doesn’t show visitors who come to the province by vehicle or by a tour bus after flying into Canada in another province.

ATB Financial expects international air travel to Alberta to continue to grow in 2017 because of the new international terminal at the Calgary International Airport, and other initiatives in Calgary and Edmonton.

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