Alberta’s tourism and hospitality sector is a key driver of economic growth and jobs throughout the province, especially in rural areas and communities outside large urban centres, while showcasing the unique experiences and welcoming hospitality that attracts visitors from around the world.

In 2022, Alberta saw $10.7 billion in tourism spending, representing an increase of $600 million from 2019 levels. This growth is evidence of a full recovery from the downturn during the pandemic and puts the province on track to break visitor expenditures year over year. To support the growth in Alberta’s visitor economy, the province is launching a new immigration stream to attract a skilled workforce to the province’s tourism and hospitality industry.

The Tourism and Hospitality Stream, part of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, will help relieve labour challenges and help Alberta businesses attract and retain much-needed workers. This will help ensure Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry continues to strengthen and grow the economy.

“The future of Alberta’s visitor economy depends on a thriving tourism and hospitality sector being able to meet the increasing demands of visitor traffic throughout the province. We’ve listened to stakeholders as they’ve shared concerns about the persistent labour shortages within their industry, and this new stream is a direct response to those challenges.”

Muhammad Yaseen, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism

“Alberta’s tourism and hospitality sector is a significant employer and contributor to the province’s economic well-being. With the government’s commitment to more than double the value of Alberta’s visitor economy, the new Tourism Hospitality Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program is an absolutely foundational element to ensuring the province develops a year-round tourism labour force that assists with the development of new tourism products and services that global travellers are seeking.”

Darren Reeder, president and chief executive officer, Tourism Industry Association of Alberta

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program is the province’s economic immigration program to attract and retain talented workers and entrepreneurs. Operated in coordination with the federal government, it enables Alberta’s government to address challenges and gaps in the province’s labour market by nominating skilled/experienced individuals to fill job vacancies.

The Tourism and Hospitality Stream is open to individuals who have already been working for a tourism and hospitality business for at least six months and who have met criteria to establish themselves in Alberta permanently. 

“The tourism and hospitality immigration stream will open up new opportunities across the province while attracting skilled workers to well-paying jobs that will support their families. As Alberta’s visitor economy continues to thrive, it is critical we supply our tourism and destination operators with the workforce they need for success.”

Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport

“The AHLA welcomes the creation of a dedicated immigration stream for Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry. While Canadians continue to respond to Alberta’s call, our member hotels are still experiencing acute labour shortages in their teams. By helping hotels attract and retain the skilled staff they need, this stream will help Alberta hotels deliver a better experience to our guests and strengthen the provincial tourism economy.”

Tracy Douglas- Blowers, president and chief executive officer, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

"Alberta restaurants face the highest job vacancy rate of any sector at nine per cent, nearly double the province's average of five per cent. Labour shortages have hindered their post-pandemic recovery. We thank the Alberta government for helping to address these concerns through the dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Stream, offering support to revitalize restaurants and help them access the labour they need to thrive in their communities."

Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Western Canada, Restaurants Canada

Quick facts

  • To be eligible for the immigration program’s Tourism and Hospitality Stream, candidates must have a valid full-time, non-seasonal job offer from an approved employer operating within the appropriate industry.
  • In 2022, Alberta saw 32 million person-visits, generating $10.7 billion in expenditures, and supporting more than 80,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Eleven per cent of Canada’s tourism-related businesses are in Alberta.

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