Tourism in Alberta 2018

High level summary of key tourism statistics in Alberta

In 2018, Alberta saw a total of:

  • $8.2 billion in tourism expenditures
  • 35.2 million person-visits

In 2018, Statistics Canada’s Travel Survey of Residents of Canada was replaced by the new National Travel Survey. As a result of the survey changes, the two surveys are not comparable.

In 2018, Statistics Canada also replaced its International Travel Survey with the Visitor Travel Survey.

  • Alberta recorded a growth of 11% and 4% in person visits and expenditures from the international market.
  • Due to survey changes, the percentage change for total visitation and expenditures for 2018 over 2017 is not available.

2018 Tourism expenditures and visitation in Alberta by market

*Small sample size. Data contain high margin of error and are subject to significant year-over-year fluctuations.
Source: Statistics Canada, Visitor Travel Survey and National Travel Survey.
Market of origin Tourism Expenditures Person-visits
Canada $6 billion 33 million
United States $893 million 1.08 million
United Kingdom $204 million 174,000
China $182 million 131,000
Japan $54 million 38,000
Australia $156 million 120,000
Germany $114 million 120,000
France* $25 million 27,000
South Korea* $56 million 66,000
Mexico* $22 million 18,000

In 2018, tourism spending by visitors contributed to the provincial economy with:

  • 68,800 tourism jobs (full-time equivalent employment in person years)
  • $6.5 billion in contribution to Alberta’s GDP ($3.9 billion direct, $1.5 billion indirect and $1.1 billion induced)
  • $1.1 billion in contribution from taxes on products and services, including:
    • $531 million in federal tax revenue
    • $367 million in provincial tax revenue
    • $169 million in local tax revenue

Source: Alberta Jobs, Economy and Innovation (Statistics Canada Visitor Spending Model for Alberta – 2018 numbers)

The Government of Alberta collaborated with Statistics Canada to develop a new tourism visitor spending economic impact model for Alberta, which generates data based on visitors’ tourism spending in the province. The key indicators and assumptions from the new model differ from previous models.

For this reason, GDP, jobs and tax revenue data for tourism in Alberta from 2017 onwards cannot be directly compared to figures reported for 2015 and prior.

Visitor profiles by region

Visitor profiles provide information on visitor origin, purpose of trip, accommodation, length of stay, seasonality and spending in Alberta and tourism regions.


There are 2 visitor profiles for Alberta. One is a high level summary for all the visitors to Alberta and the other one is a detailed visitor profile for domestic visitors to Alberta.

Tourism region

You can find archived visitor profiles at Open Government.

The raw data for total Alberta tourism, domestic tourism, and tourism by region is also available in Excel format.

International visits and spending

See statistics on overnight person-visits and expenditures from specific countries between 2002 and 2018 while in Alberta.

Economic impact of tourism in Alberta by region

Economic impact studies provide a snapshot of an entire existing economy at a specific point in time.

It follows spending associated with tourism activity to identify changes on employment, income and government tax revenue at regional and provincial levels.

You can find archived economic impact studies at Open Government.


Connect with the Research and Reporting Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-1582
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

6th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4G8