Alberta’s United Conservative Party is committed to growing and diversifying Alberta’s economy and creating jobs by doubling the tourism visitor spend by 2030 through investments in Alberta’s parks, Crown lands, and public infrastructure. The tourism industry is a key driver of revenue and jobs, with over a quarter of a million Albertans working in the sector, providing valuable services to Albertans and visitors.
The UCP government laid the groundwork to rebuild Alberta’s tourism industry, improve recreation opportunities, and conserve Alberta’s parks. Budget 2023 included over $200 million to improve the province’s network of trails, campgrounds and comfort camping, and a commitment to connecting Calgary and Edmonton’s airports to the LRT system.
“Alberta is a land of opportunity for jobs and a land of opportunity for unique and memorable experiences,” said Miranda Rosin, UCP candidate for Banff-Kananaskis. “Tourism in Alberta is a major part of a diversified economy, contributing billions of dollars that ultimately help to support Alberta families through both jobs and record government funding in health care, education, and measures to keep Alberta affordable for everyone.”
A re-elected UCP government will implement a Tourism Strategy with the goal of doubling tourism spending in Alberta to $20 billion by 2030 by:
· Growing the aviation industry
o WestJet and the Government of Alberta signed a memorandum of understanding to grow the aerospace, aviation and logistics sectors.
o Encouraging increased flights from Canada and around the world through West Jet, Condor, Flair, Swoop, Lynx, and Porter all of whom have grown their Alberta presence.
o Funding more aviation management seats at Mount Royal University, and grants to help more Albertans pursue a career in aviation.
o Ensuring Travel Alberta’s Air Access Program achieves a total annual allocation of $10 million for five years for Alberta-based carriers to improve access to visitors from target, high-value markets.
· Investing in public infrastructure and attractions
o Exploring an expanded LRT system in Calgary and Edmonton that would link to their respective airports.
o Funding for attractions like The Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark Science Centre, Glenbow Museum, and Citadel Theatre.
· Calgary Arena and Entertainment District
o Working with the City of Calgary and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede to build supportive infrastructure for a world-class arena and entertainment district.
o Contributing up to $300 million, the majority over the next three years, for supportive infrastructure like roads, bridges LRT connections, site utilities, site reclamation and more.
o Working with the City of Calgary to build a new 1,000-seat community arena neighbouring the main arena that will serve youth and amateur hockey.
· Improving trails and amenities in provincial parks
o Adding an additional $5 million for K-country trail improvements in 2024.
o Building more campgrounds and trails across Alberta.
o Develop more than 900 new campsites and several new locations for comfort camping over the next 10 years.
· Developing the Crown land recreation and conservation strategy
o Bringing stakeholders together to develop an integrated and streamlined Crown Lands recreation and conservation policy that expands Albertans’ ability to enjoy our province’s beauty, in a responsible way that protects our natural spaces for generations to come.
o Enabling the expansion of trails, campsites, and other opportunities on public lands by entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations.
The NDP have continually tried to keep Albertans out of our natural areas. This was demonstrated by their failed 2018 proposal to establish the Bighorn Provincial Park and restrict access to 400,000 hectares of land under the guise of conservation, which was opposed by all municipalities and Indigenous communities within the proposed boundary.
Unlike the NDP, the UCP is listening to the wishes of Albertans by making meaningful investments to help unlock Alberta’s potential as a major tourism hub.
The UCP believes there is an important balance between conservation and recreation in our outdoors. These investments will create long-term economic growth and opportunities for Alberta and increase revenues that can be put back into conservation.
“While the UCP has a credible plan for the economy, the NDP wants to increase taxes on Alberta job creators by 38 per cent,” said Jason Luan, UCP candidate for Calgary-Foothills. “This tax hike will shutter Alberta businesses, close the door on investment, put Albertans out of work, and have a devastating effect on the tourism industry as well. After four years of failing Albertans, the NDP still doesn’t understand that devastatingly high tax hikes don’t just affect investor confidence, but will cause people to leave Alberta, not come here.”