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Alberta parks saw record-breaking tourism numbers in 2016

Jasper National Park on April 2, 2017. Karen Bartko, Global News

Alberta’s national parks saw a “record-breaking” year in 2016, according to Tourism Alberta.

The parks saw the highest visitors since 2004, according to numbers from the Alberta Tourism Market Monitor.

Tourism in Banff was up 4.7 per cent from 2015, with four million visitors checking out the park.

READ MORE: Red Deer makes Expedia’s list of North America’s ‘Most Breathtaking Places’

Similarly, Jasper National Park welcomed more than two million visitors, which is an increase of almost four per cent.

Waterton Lake’s tourism numbers jumped nearly 13 per cent, with more than half a million visitors checking out the sites.

“Albertans should be proud of their dynamic and resilient tourism industry,” tourism minister Ricardo Miranda said in a release.

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“Whether Albertans are enjoying staycations, or visitors are coming for a holiday, tourism continues to spur economic growth, creates jobs, and make lives better for Albertans.”

It’s expected tourism numbers will soar in Alberta in 2017 as well, thanks to Parks Canada offering free admission to all national parks for Canada’s 150th anniversary.

READ MORE: Parks Canada preps for tourists during free Canada 150 year, conservationists concerned

Alberta’s tourism industry employs more than 127,000 people across the province.

More than 34 million people visited Alberta in 2015, and spent $8.1 billion dollars.

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