Tourism spikes in mountain parks amid Alberta economic slump
Low Canadian dollar attracts U.S. visitors to Banff, Jasper, and prompts locals to stay closer to home
The low dollar and weak energy prices attracted more people to the mountain parks this season, making it a record season for hotel and tour operators.
- OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS | Cenovus expects to finish 2015 with 24% fewer staff than last year
- OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS | Suncor posts third-quarter loss of $376 million
- OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS | Alberta oilsands downturn has U.S. environmental groups celebrating
Banff, Jasper, and Waterton all experienced an influx of visitors over the summer, with double-digit growth in some months in the 10 to 30 per cent range.
The soft dollar is making Alberta more attractive to tourists from the U.S. and abroad, but it's also convincing locals to take trips in their own backyards, says Travel Alberta CEO Royce Chwin.
"Because our economy obviously is soft here as we know from energy, rather than perhaps planning the big trip out it's a reminder, you know what, we've been meaning to do this trip for quite a while, let's go visit the parks or let's go to a museum or let's take a road trip up through the north."
Chwin says Alberta's two major cities are not seeing the same phenomenon. Hotel occupancy rates for both Calgary and Edmonton are down.