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News, Research, Reports & Submissions

TIAA Advocates for Enhanced Federal Alignment and Funding for Tourism 

The Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) has made a strong case for the integration of the tourism sector in the federal government's Building a Green Prairie Economy Act. The submission underlines the vital role of tourism in both economic growth and environmental conservation, urging for a government-wide strategy that promotes these dual objectives. Advocating for the sector's recognition as a pillar of the green economy, TIAA has stressed the importance of strategic policy, capital supports, and cross-departmental coordination. A primary focus is on the unique opportunity to foster sustainable, regenerative tourism in the Prairie region, which would stimulate rural economic growth while safeguarding biodiversity and important ecosystems. The proposal further outlines necessary investment areas, such as low-carbon transportation, housing, and workforce development, which can boost the sector and provide community-based career opportunities. The submission encourages greater federal support in line with Alberta's goal of doubling tourism spending by 2035 and emphasizes the essential role of indigenous tourism in the broader growth narrative.

Read TIAA's submission to PrairiesCan and the Federal Government.



The Tourism Industry Association of Alberta announces that three directors with terms ending at the upcoming Annual General Meeting will let their names stand for re-election.  As much as these individuals have expressed a desire to continue to serve the association and the industry at large, nominations are welcome from any eligible members from the Meetings, Conventions & Incentive Travel, Training & Education, Transportation & Industry Association sectors.

Nominations are open until May 16 at 5 pm.  The 2023 Board slate, along with the formal notice of motion for the June 21 Annual General Meeting, will be shared shortly after the May 16 deadline.

Download the nomination package here to find out more.


Pandemic related debt continues to impact tourism businesses across the province

The timing of the repayment of CEBA loans is fast approaching and will certainly undermine the speed of recovery of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. The federal government's 2023 Budget offered no further solutions for businesses exploring their COVID-19 related debt repayment options. TIAA is calling on the Government of Alberta to advocate to the Government of Canada for a solution for impacted businesses on a priority basis, or consider providing a loan/credit facility that would allow impacted Alberta businesses to bridge their financial needs. Read letter  here.


Alberta Monthly Tourism Labour Market Report

As part of  TIAA's Labour Market Study of Alberta's Tourism Sector, Tourism HR Canada provides TIAA with monthly Alberta-specific Labour Market statistics. Check out the monthly reports:

November 2022

December 2022

January 2023

February 2023


TIAA Submits Budget Recommendations to Province

TIAA believes that the Government of Alberta needs to, as part of the upcoming budget cycle, implement an integrated policy and decision-making framework that supports tourism across government and immediately commit to funding tourism commensurate with the industry’s economic contribution, relative to other sectors of the economy. See the full budget submission  here.


Post-Summer Survey Results Show Tourism Businesses are Optimistic

In a recent survey by the Tourism Industry Alberta Association in partnership with Travel Alberta, tourism businesses were polled on their summer business performance the current state of the industry - including job losses, financial losses and business viability, sustainability efforts and labour force challenges. Recent survey results show that Alberta’s tourism businesses are optimistic about their business outlook for the remainder of year but inflation and labour supply issues continue to pose challenges to the industry.

See the full report by clicking here.

Executive Summary available here.


New First-of-its-Kind Study Reveals the Economic Impacts and Employment Contribution of Alberta’s Tourism Industry to Provincial Economy

A new landmark study conducted by TIAA reveals that from a job creation perspective, Alberta’s tourism sector creates the most jobs per dollar of provincial government funding. The report presents an analysis of the GDP and employment contribution of the sector to the provincial economy; provides a comparative assessment of the Alberta government’s policy approach and financial support for the sector relative to other sectors in the economy; and recommendations to strengthen industry investment and job creation to help double tourism expenditures by 2030. The report asserts that doubling tourism expenditures in the province would more than triple the 2021 GDP contributions and jobs. TIAA commissioned this work to raise awareness of the contribution of the industry to the provincial economy, and the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the livelihoods of Albertans in the industry across the province.

Read the full report here. 

Read report summary here.


2023 Federal Pre-Budget Submission

The federal pre-budget submission of the Provincial & Territorial Tourism Industry Association (PTTIA), of which the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) is an active participant, provides recommendations in the following thematic areas: development of a sustainable workforce, improvement of access for visitors to/within Canada, development and promotion of tourism assets, and, building of a regenerative and inclusive tourism industry. Read Submission 


Alberta federal tourism submission focuses on labour gap

TIAA's August 3 contribution covers wide-ranging issues on behalf of Alberta's tourism industry.  Letter


Happy Tourism Week 2022, Alberta

May 29 - June 4 is a time to celebrate our industry’s contributions to the lives and livelihoods that are touched by the 25,546 tourism businesses in our province. Check out our #ABTourismWeek toolkit


Annual general meeting scheduled for June 14

TIAA members are invited to our online annual general meeting. Register by June 10 here. Download meeting package here.


Alberta tourism data at your finger tips now available

Enhance your decision-making with a snapshot of key tourism data including trends, economic impact, visitor and market intelligence. Details


2022 Board call for nominations, closes May 18

The Tourism Industry Association of Alberta is seeking nominations from members to fill two vacancies on its Board of Directors. Details


Tourism industry survey shows business operators are optimistic

In a first-of-its-kind online survey by the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta in partnership with Travel Alberta, businesses were polled in winter 2022 on the current state of the industry — covering viability, outlook, recruitment, finances and losses.  Survey summary


2022 Alberta Tourism Industry Congress Postponed

Travel Alberta and the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta regretfully announce that we are postponing the 2022 Alberta Tourism Industry Congress planned for April 25. This year brought us unexpected logistical challenges, driven by significantly lower than expected registration numbers. More


TIAA Submits Budget Recommendations to Province

In advance of the 2022 provincial budget, TIAA ensured tourism was represented via a series of recommendations for what can help the industry's recovery. See the submission here


TIAA's 2021 Report to Members is Now Available

After a year of determined fervor to ensure Alberta's visitor economy is positioned for recovery and growth, TIAA is proud to release its 2021 Report to Members. The report recaps the association's advocacy, research and collaborative efforts to support the whole of the tourism and hospitality sector. Read the report here


Research Finds Alberta's Crown Land Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates $2.3B in Trip-Related Expenditures

Thanks to the contributions of 19 motorized and non-motorized outdoor recreation groups, and input from  Albertans across the province, TIAA's first-of a-kind study revealed the significant potential behind outdoor recreation as a powerful economic driver. The research found $376M was spent on outdoor equipment and accessories, with a contribution of $2.8B to the province's GDP. Read the study overview, the primary report or the technical report


Report Unveiled Soon on Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation on Crown Lands

TIAA is working on the final details of a comprehensive study exploring the economic contributions of outdoor recreation on crown lands. The study, led by TIAA and informed through the expertise of 19 outdoor recreation user groups representing motorized and non-motorized activities, seeks to draw the government's attention to the immense opportunities available to further develop Alberta's outdoor recreation economy through the strategic alignment of policy and investment. The study will be released early September.


TIABC and TIAA Present to Conservative Party of Canada

On April 7, TIAA presented its thoughts and recommendations to the Conservative Party of Canada's Tourism Caucus Recovery Committee on the rebound of the nation's visitor economy. Darren Reeder, TIAA's Board Advisor introduced recommendations through four strategic goals in partnership with Walt Judas of the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) including:

  • ensuring the longevity of liquidity support measures until market forces resume
  • articulating a predictive path to reopen the border to travel
  • supporting Canada’s visitor economy to remain globally competitive through the introduction of a travel tax credit
  • making sure that looming tourism labour shortages don’t drag on the sector’s economic recovery.


Joint Coalition Submission sent to Alberta Utilities Commission

At the end of March, TIAA participated in a broad coalition of industry associations to provide feedback on a recent Alberta Utilities Commission (“AUC”) decision that not only harms, but disenfranchises ratepayers. This decision came at a time when industry needs every opportunity to save on costs. The coalition identified a series of concerns and requested a meeting with Honourable Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity to work towards a resolution. Read the submission


Travel Alberta's Budget to Increase for Next Three Years

As part of its Budget 2021, the Government of Alberta announced on February 26 an increase of $22M for each of the next three years for Travel Alberta. Since its inception, TIAA has been calling for Travel Alberta's funding to be restored and is pleased to see this in the budget. View this year's Fiscal Plan here.


TIAA Recommends Expansion of Small & Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to Account for Impacts on Tourism & Hospitality Sectors 

In a January 25th letter issued to Premier Kenney & Minister Schweitzer, TIAA pressed the Alberta government to enhance the Small & Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG) for tourism and hospitality businesses, specifically, by doubling the grant to $40,000 and increasing the eligibility criteria to 30% of a business’ pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue. 


2020 Report to Members Released, Showing a Busy Year 

(January 7, 2021) TIAA unveiled its "Growing Through the Crisis - 2020 Report to Members" highlighting key advocacy activities and thematic areas of stakeholder support in its dynamic first year of supporting Alberta's tourism sector. Read the 2020 Report to Members


Tourism Levy to be Retained by Accommodation Providers

On December 4, 2020 the Government of Alberta announced that hotels and other lodging providers will now be able to keep the tourism levy amounts collected between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. This extension of the original abatement period, which was to end Dec. 31, will free up to $10 million in additional cash flow for the sector to employ staff, maintain operations and continue providing valuable services through the winter season. TIAA has been working hard on this request on behalf of industry and is pleased with this announcement. See the full details  here.


2020 TIAC Tourism Congress Alberta Breakout Session Hosted by TIAA

(November 18, 2020) TIAA's Board Chair, Alida Visbach hosted esteemed speakers from across the province's tourism industry to discuss insights and trends that shape the visitor economy in Alberta. More than 230 tourism partners welcomed the panelists who included:

  • Martin Long - Parliamentary Secretary of Small Business and Tourism, Government of Alberta
  • David Goldstein - CEO, Travel Alberta
  • Darren Reeder, TIAA Board Advisor

Watch the recap of the session

Recommendations Shared to Tourism & Hospitality's Red Tape Panel to Support Sector's Recovery

(October 1, 2020) TIAA submitted a series of recommendations to the province's Tourism & Hospitality Red Tape Panel aimed at supporting the recovery and expansion of Alberta's tourism economy. Recommendations ranged from support tourism and outdoor recreation development to accelerating a tourism project approvals framework and more. Read the submission


"Travelling Forward Webinar" Registration Announced, in partnership with MLT Aikins LLP

(September 11, 2020) On November 2, 2020 MLT Aikins LLP and TIAA will bring the industry a unique webinar, offering timely topics hosted by respected industry experts. Program includes:

  • Risk management considerations for business
  • Bill 32 - changes to Alberta's labour and employment legislation
  • Corporate restructuring: things to consider when facing liquidity challenges
  • Pandemic immigration - tourism and work related immigration in the face of COVID-19

Register here


A Call to Action: Recommendations to Accelerate the Recovery, Sustainable Growth and Resilience of Alberta's Visitor Economy  

(June 30, 2020) The report, which was developed under the guidance of eight senior tourism sector leaders and informed through the input of over 20 sector associations, is the most comprehensive, industry-led effort to-date to assist the government in its understanding of the opportunities (and challenges) facing the whole of the visitor economy. The actions that the industry is asking the government to take – and which have all the greater context following the release of yesterday’s Alberta Recovery Plan – provide a policy roadmap to quickly advance the recovery and expansion of the visitor economy. The report is organized into eight focus areas, with each of the 40 priority policy recommendations organized by implementation timeframe and by ministry(s) responsible.

Read the Call to Action Report    


Alberta's Recovery Plan  

(June 29, 2020) Alberta's Recovery Plan focuses on building infrastructure, diversifying the economy and getting Albertans back to work. Read the Recovery Plan   


Opening Soon: Alberta's Relaunch Strategy 

(April 30, 2020) Premier Kenney today unveiled the province's strategy to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, outlining the conditions for a  sequenced reopening of the economy in three stages. Read the Relaunch Strategy   


Destination Next: Futures Study 2019 A Strategic Road Map for the Next Generation of Global Destination Organizations

Destination organizations today are collaborating more closely with their local communities to define a shared vision for the future that provides long-term benefits for both key stakeholders and residents. There is also a much greater emphasis on community-driven destination development that aligns around the three integrated pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability to drive competitive advantage in today’s global visitor economy. Continue Reading


Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy 

The new federal tourism growth strategy aims to capitalize on the tourism industry’s success by helping to create more opportunities for year-round, sustainable economic development in Canadian communities. The potential for tourism is greater than ever with Tourism now having become the seventh economic strategy table for the government: an approach that summons the attention of all government departments that are impacted by the industry. Continue Reading


Unlocking the Potential of Canada’s Visitor Economy 

In its February 2017 report, the federal Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth identified tourism as one of eight key sectors where “Canada has a strong endowment, untapped potential, and significant global growth potential.” The Council recommended that government and businesses take a targeted, collaborative approach to building each of these sectors. Given the outsized importance of tourism to Canada, and the substantial growth opportunity of the sector, this report is intended to stimulate discussion about the structure, performance and potential of the sector, and introduce possible avenues to grow Canada’s visitor economy. Continue Reading




New study provides recommendations to assist tourism industry through labour recruitment/retention challenges
News Release

Industry veteran appointed CEO

Darren Reeder is TIAA President and CEO News release


Survey shows business operators are optimistic

Optimism is tempered by labour challenges and public health guidelines News release


Testing removal provides certainty for tourism industry

Hard-hit businesses can start the long road to recovery with summer ahead Statement


Travel guideline relaxation move in right direction

Much work remains in our country and province's image, brand and reputation, and ensuring that we are on travellers' itineraries. Media interview here


Tourism leaders call for changes to international visitor testing

As the Canadian borders have re-opened to U.S. travellers, confusion and cost around PCR testing requirements are a known deterrent. TIAA's board advisor, Darren Reeder said it is unnecessary for the federal government to require a family of four to pay $1,000 to come to Canada, or a PCR test at all. Read more here.


TIAA's Study Reveals Alberta's Crown Land Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates $2.3B in Trip-Related Expenditures

A new study conducted by TIAA asserts that an intentional shift in management focus is needed to secure the future potential of Alberta’s outdoor recreation economy. View the complete package:


Border Opens to Fully Vaccinated U.S. Visitors & Tourism Sector is Ready

On Aug. 9 the Canadian border opened to American travelers who are fully vaccinated for the first time in 18 months. TIAA has been heavily called upon for comment by the media in recent days. See some of the coverage on Global News and the Calgary Herald.


TIAA Launches Tourism Week Campaign with Unique Plan

The campaign calls for the immediate expansion of the Small & Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG) with a dedicated tourism and hospitality stream, as well as the introduction of an Alberta travel tax credit or incentive program.

View Media Release


Outdoor Recreation on Alberta's Crown Lands Survey - now closed

This first of a kind survey will help land managers to understand and quantify the economic role that Crown Land based outdoor recreation plays in Alberta, while providing essential insights to help strengthen and align advocacy efforts by the stakeholders across the Crown Land
outdoor recreation ecosystem.


Travel Alberta's Mandate Formally Expands 

On April 8, 2021 the Government of Alberta introduced amendments to the Travel Alberta Act, expanding the agency’s mandate to that of a destination management organization. These amendments are part of Bill 62, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021. This enables the crown corporation to play a more active role in developing new tourism destinations, products and experiences.


Understanding Alberta’s Growing Crown Land Outdoor Recreation Economy

TIAA has launched a collaborative, sector-wide study to research outdoor recreation participation on Crown lands and to estimate the economic contribution it makes provincially, and regionally. The study, a first of its kind in Alberta, will assist Crown land managers in better understanding, and quantifying, the powerful economic role that Crown land based outdoor recreation plays in Alberta, while providing essential insights to help... See More 


TIAA Announces New Board of Directors, Board Chair

On January 26, 2021, the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM), announcing the appointment of the organization’s 2021 Board of Directors. TIAA is the advocate for all segments of the tourism economy serving as a proxy voice for approximately 4,500 Alberta tourism and hospitality businesses.

View Media Release 


David Goldstein to Lead Travel Alberta

November 5, 2020 (Alberta) David Goldstein was announced as Travel Alberta's new CEO. David’s extensive tourism experience and industry knowledge positions him well to understand the recovery challenges that we face from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. 

View Media Release

TIAA Joins Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses

September 17, 2020 (Ottawa, ON) Today the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses launched a campaign calling on the federal government to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program at the full 75% rate for businesses facing an ongoing revenue decline of 50% or higher.  Visit - 


Marsha Walden Appointed as Destination Canada's CEO

(August 18, 2020) Marsha Walden will take top seat at Destination Canada. Resigning as Destination British Columbia's President and CEO since 2013, she will take the job at a critical time for the nation's tourism sector. 

View Media Release


Strategy to Accelerate the Recovery of Alberta's Visitor Economy Released 

June 30, 2020 (Calgary, Alberta) 
TIAA releases plan with 40 recommendations to the Government of Alberta in support of the recovery, growth & resilience of Alberta's visitor economy.  View Media Release
A Call to Action to Accelerate the Recovery & Resilience of Alberta's Visitor Economy 
June 9, 2020 (Calgary, Alberta) 
TIAA has launched a collaborative industry-wide process to develop recommendations to the Government of Alberta for: a) accelerating the recovery of the province's visitor economy; and, b) positioning the industry for a resilient and sustainable future.  View Media Release
TIAA Presents COVID-19 Crisis & Recovery Recommendations to Premier Kenney
April 13, 2020 (Calgary, Alberta)
TIAA's submission for a provincial tourism sector strategy and relief package includes eleven recommendations focused on measures to: a) avert the loss of tourism businesses; b) set the stage for economic recovery; and, c) support visitation, new product development and investment.   View Letter

TIAA Recommendations to Premier Kenney Regarding COVID-19 Crisis

March 23, 2020 (Calgary, Alberta)

TIAA wishes to articulate a few areas where we have observed gaps in the stimulus package measures announced by the federal government and where we believe the Govenrment of Alberta could assist in support of Albertans. View Letter