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Travel body launches campaign to get Albertans travelling locally 'where and when it's responsible'

Travel Alberta unveiled its new strategy Tuesday for helping the province’s tourism sector get back on its feet in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agency wants to showcase great places, inspire future trips, while prioritizing health

Travel Alberta is encouraging Albertans to visit some of the beautiful places in the province, such as Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, as the tourism sector struggles to rebound from the COVID-19 shutdowns. (Corey Myke)

Travel Alberta unveiled its new strategy Tuesday for helping the province's tourism sector get back on its feet in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's called "Worth the Wait" and it's meant to inspire people who usually travel outside the province.

The provincial agency hosted a live webinar Tuesday — one of five planned for Tourism Week, which is May 24 to 31 — to explain to industry members how it plans to promote the strategy.

A big part of the pitch will be getting Albertans to think about making vacation plans closer to home as international trips — in and out of the province — continue to be problematic because of the pandemic.

"As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, it's really becoming clear that the world, those international visitors, may be waiting for quite a while before they can safely explore Alberta again," Travel Alberta vice-president Tannis Gaffney said during the webinar.

Jasper National Park has thousands of square kilometres of untouched alpine wilderness, Travel Alberta says on its website. (Roman Koenigshofer/@rawmeyn)

"And as Albertans, we're all craving something to look forward to, a new adventure, a new experience in our communities and in our province."

The campaign starts rolling out June 1.

Alberta's tourism-related businesses bring in $8.9 billion in revenue, Travel Alberta says.

It was one of the most immediately and hardest hit by COVID-19 emergency.

"It's time to start messaging consumers back to your businesses, but with responsible inspiration," Gaffney said.

Horsethief Canyon is a must see while exploring the Alberta Badlands, says Travel Alberta. It's on Dinosaur Trail, about 16 kilometres northwest of Drumheller on the east bank of the Red Deer River. (Katie Goldie/Travel Alberta)

"This is what we're calling a 'call to arms' to Albertans to get out and experience Alberta this summer — where and when it's responsible."

She said the three prongs of the agency's strategy are to showcase Alberta's great destinations, to inspire future plans to places that might not yet be accessible — and to do both while making the protection of people's heath a priority.

Travel Alberta is a Crown corporation of the provincial government that promotes Alberta as a tourist destination.

Watch Travel Alberta's video promoting its new campaign below: 

With files from Colleen Underwood

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