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March 28, 2013

Building a Stronger Tourism Industry in the Canadian Badlands

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The Government of Alberta is helping to establish the Canadian Badlands as an iconic tourism destination.

Spanning about 90,000 square kilometres in southeast Alberta, the Canadian Badlands stretch from Stettler in the north to the Montana border in the south, and from east of Highway 2 to the Saskatchewan border.

“Tourism diversifies our economy and offers tremendous potential for growth - and this is certainly true in the Canadian Badlands,” said Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation.“Communities and industry are working together to enhance the profile and appeal of the region by encouraging investment, employment and development, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

The Alberta government is investing $550,000 to support an innovative, collaborative tourism model led by the Canadian Badlands. This not-for-profit corporation represents the interests of 65 municipalities in southeast Alberta, and is integrating tourism destination development, management and marketing across the region. The province’s investment includes a $250,000 grant for the administration and operation of the Canadian Badlands corporation, which will support the development of themed touring routes, attractions, outdoor recreation and more.

“Tourism is everyone’s business,” said Doug Jones, President of Canadian Badlands. “With everyone collaborating, we have an extraordinary opportunity to generate economic activity and tourism development in southern Alberta. We are working together to make the Canadian Badlands the next iconic destination in Alberta.”

Partners in the Canadian Badlands have collected $300,000 to help promote the region.  Travel Alberta has approved up to $300,000 over the next two years from their co-operative marketing program to match the investment being made.  Travel Alberta’s program is designed to assist new or enhanced marketing activities led by Alberta-based tourism operators, non-profit or public sector organizations working together to market Alberta experiences.

“This is a prime opportunity to showcase one of Alberta’s icons,” said Bruce Okabe, CEO of Travel Alberta. “The Canadian Badlands offer a combination of authentic Alberta history and hospitality with the mystery of time long before our own. Their efforts will inspire travellers through major Alberta experiences like Dinosaur Provincial Park, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Atlas Coal Mine or the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions.”

Funding for these Canadian Badlands projects, and for other provincial tourism initiatives, is generated through Alberta’s Tourism Levy. The four per cent levy is collected by hotels, lodges and other temporary accommodations in Alberta and reinvested in the tourism industry.

Click here to view the original news release or here to read an article about the Canadian Badlands.

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