The Government of Alberta wants to add more tourist destinations and grow the province's tourism industry by $2.5 billion over the next seven years — from $7.8 to $10.3 billion.
The new Tourism Framework calls for one-third growth in tourist activity, including, among other things, more development on Crown and private land, and boosting international air access to Canada and immigration to round out the workforce.
"There's no specific areas that [development] would be restricted to," said Tourism Minister Richard Starke.
"So we recognize that we really do need to look throughout the provinces for the opportunities to have increased experiences for our visitors."
Starke said most of the development will be led by private industry.
The framework says tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, but Canada's dominance as a destination has slipped. In 1950, Canada ranked the second top global destination, but was 15th in 2010.
The report says competition for tourists is "intense," and that Alberta needs to focus on the highest spenders, given that the province is more expensive to visit than other destinations.
It also highlights the need to expand to other markets. In 2011, the vast majority of tourists — 94 per cent — were from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, with the rest of Canada and the U.S. making up four per cent. The remainder were from the U.K., Germany, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands.
Starke said despite the new focus on growth, the province will respect sensitive areas, such as the mountain national parks of Banff, Jasper and Waterton.
"It's extremely important that we maintain the integrity of our wilderness."
He said tourism can be boosted without additional infrastructure, referencing last weekend's Dark Sky Festival in Jasper, which touts the park as an ideal spot for stargazing.
"The wilderness is there. That's the attraction."