April 25, 2017 10:33 am
Updated: April 27, 2017 12:51 pm

Calgary tourism down $100 million in 2016: report

WATCH: Cassandra McAuley from Tourism Calgary joins Global Calgary with details on how they will attempt to attract more tourists in 2017.


A new report set to go before city council on Thursday says the number of visitors to Calgary last year was down by 800,000 compared to the year before.

According to the 2016 Civic Partner report, the number of visitors to Calgary dropped by 11 per cent in 2016 to 7.2 million, compared to 8 million in 2015.

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The decline in visitors translates to a $100-million loss in tourism revenue; Calgary took in $1.6 billion in 2015 versus $1.7 in 2016.

READ MORE: Calgary’s unemployment rate down in March, still highest in Canada

“Having 25 per cent of [our] visitor economy be a business traveler, we have seen an erosion of that over the last two years because of the downturn,” Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady explained. “That being said, we’ve been working really hard on the leisure side to actually create a difference.”

“The Conference Board of Canada has indicated that we’re going to see a rise in tourism for the city of Calgary – just over three per cent this coming year – so we’re targeting every opportunity that there is.”

Ady said Tourism Calgary has been working to increase campaign visibility in other markets.

“The U.S. market is up almost eight per cent this year, and then the international markets are up over 12 per cent from where it was before, which is a lot of hard sustained work.”

Ady suggested a new sports arena and an enhanced convention centre would also help build tourism.

“They give us great opportunity to host in this city and to bring visitors to this city,” Aidy said. “Those are things that we think are important as we go forward.”

She said they’re also hoping Canada’s 150th birthday will translate to increased tourism in Calgary.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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