Over the past couple of years, the Canadian travel and tourism industry has been a strong and consistent engine of economic growth and job creation, during a time when other sectors are struggling. This puts the tourism industry in a favourable position for continued growth as we move into the spring and summer festival season of 2017. On February 21, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada reported that Canadian Tourism reached a new milestone with nearly 20 million inbound visitors in 2016. As stated within the report, “Canada has already been named the top place to visit in the world by Lonely Planet and the New York Times” www.tiac.travel.ca. With a low Canadian dollar and the natural intrigue of what Canada offers, coupled with the fact that this year marks Canadas 150th Anniversary of Confederation, it is expected that tourism in Canada will have a banner year.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (www.theglobeandmail.com) reported that, “the low loonie will provide a much-needed boost by keeping Canadian vacationers at home and luring Americans north….tourism is emerging as a key growth industry.” It is recognized that food contributes to the overall holiday experience, and good food is one of the key expectations. Foodie tourism has been a trend that continues to see growth supported by provincial organizations such as the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance (www.albertaculinary.com), and positivity promoted by businesses like Alberta Food Tours (www.albertafoodtours.ca).
Karen Anderson, President, Alberta Food Tours Inc. stated,
“Bison is one of Alberta’s signature foods and our food tour leaders at Alberta Food Tours Inc., mention it on all of our food tours in the province. We hope to see sustainable growth in the industry because of bison’s value as a keystone conservation species, as a healthful food for humanity, and because it has an original and delicious taste that will bring food travellers to Alberta from all over the world to try it.”
The take home message is that tourism will be a lead driver for the economy as we move through the remainder of 2017. The demand for the authentically Canadian experience can only prove to be a positive light for the bison industry; from food tours & events, farm visits, or simply a visitor having the opportunity to try their first bison burger at a summer festival. Be part of the Canadian 150th celebrations and have a good time!
Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay bison strong.
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