Calgary's hotel industry says there's still a lot of room at the inn for the upcoming summer tourism season. So they're hoping to absorb a lot of spillover from Banff, named a top destination for 2017, as the mountain resort town braces for another record setting year for visitors..
"We certainly would love to see a strong summer," said Dan Desantis, chair of the Calgary Hotel Association and general manager for the Marriott at the Calgary airport.
Desantis says Calgary's not expecting an influx of tourists for Canada's birthday this long weekend — nor anything like what Banff is expecting over the entire summer because of Canada 150 and the free entry into the national park.
But he says local hotels are staring to see some spinoff.
"What we believe is occurring is that, as part of people going out to the mountains, they're spending a day or two on the front side of their vacation or on the backside on their way home, in Calgary, and so that has been a big help."
Desantis says stronger bookings for the summer, despite the economy, may also be a result of Tourism Calgary's marketing efforts this year.
"We`re seeing a real spike in interest as well on all the major travel sites they're recommending Calgary as one of the best destinations to come in Canada," said Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary.
Tourism Calgary has been promoting food and craft beer tours, as well as different activities, to regional and international visitors who often skip the city in their rush to the mountains.
"What we are out there promoting is this idea, if Banff is very full, Calgary still has quite a bit of room in it, especially post-Stampede, and it's a really good price point," said Ady.
"And you can have that blended vacation."
Ady says there are no hard numbers as to whether its marketing tactic is paying off.
But she says they've been watching social media and different websites and have found a lot of people are researching Calgary, so they're expecting a strong summer for bookings.
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