May 28th, 2024

Tourism Lethbridge highlights state of the industry

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on April 24, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Tourism Lethbridge executive director Erin Crane shares statistics on how tourism impacted the local economy in 2023.


Tourism Lethbridge recently released its Power of Tourism infographic, where the organization highlights the state of the industry and how it has impacted Lethbridge within the past year.

Erin Crane, executive director of Tourism Lethbridge, recently told the Herald they continue to improve upon the stats they collect to keep track of the health indicators for the tourism industry within the city.

“We have a long way to go with that information. We’ve just started this process back in 2022 and it’s ever evolving,” said Crane.

 She said Tourism Lethbridge is constantly looking at what stats to include and the economic impact of events is one of those, but that stat presents some challenges.

 “We’re only as good as the information that we get from people and we’re really trying to work on that process. What events are happening in our city, how many people are they bringing, where are those people coming from,” said Crane.

She said they want to do more with that information by working with partners in collecting the required information to analyze it and have a better idea on how tourism is impacting the local economy.

The 2023 Power of Tourism document shows that the visitor information centre engaged with 4,273 people. Of those, 41.4 per cent were from Lethbridge while 32.5 per cent were from other parts of the province, 11.7 per cent were from the United States, 8.5 per cent were from other parts of the country, 2.3 per cent were international visitors and 3.6 per cent were from unknown origin.

Those statistics reflect an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year.

Other statistics included in the report show the Lethbridge airport experienced a 32.8 per cent increase in passengers with 42,034 going through in 2023.

Attendance at Lethbridge events shows an increase of 28.3 per cent with 262,495 attending the various events the took place within the year, resulting in an estimated economic impact of $18,901,919.

“We’re running right now a Destination Next tourism assessment survey that has gone out to our stakeholder partners and those in the tourism industry to find out how they’re feeling about tourism and what are some of those things that they want to see from us,” said Crane.

She said the results from that survey may change the look of the infographic showcased in the Power of Tourism document, but so far it is a good indicator of what is happening in the city.

Crane added that they are in communication with various industry partners about tourism strategies and the benefits of tourism for communities across the province.

“Alberta has a lofty goal of getting to a grand total of $25 billion in tourism economy by 2035 and right now we’re not even half of that, so we have a lot of growth that we need to get to over the next 10 years,” said Crane.

 She said one thing she has been highlighting among their industry partners, especially their government partners, is the work that they have done around the tourism development zones.

 “One of those zones is the Lethbridge to Medicine Hat zone and for the next 10 years that zone has a very high potential to help us get to that $25 billion,” said Crane.

 She said some e questions that have been raised in those conversations include how to work together as a community to actualize that.

Crane mentioned one way to increase tourism within the city is by educating frontline staff about what visitors can do while here.

“We’ve been working with our attractions advisory committee around a VIP tour. VIP in our world stands for Visitor Information Provider. There’s so many of them that get asked when visitors come in about what is there to see and do in Lethbridge and sometimes that can be hard if it catches you off guard,” said Crane.

 She added that sometimes people just don’t know because they recently moved here from somewhere else and the VIP tour gives them the opportunity to show them what is there to do, so next time they get asked they are able to respond with examples, and perhaps provide their feedback on a particular experience.

“We’ve partnered with the city of Lethbridge for transportation, we’re going to be meeting at Nikka Yuko Japanese garden and then we’re going to go to each one of those attractions to educate and let those frontline employees who often get asked those questions to see it first-hand and experience it,” said Crane.

She said this includes people that work at hotels, retail stores, restaurants and other industries that provide a place for visitors to stop on the way in or out of the city.

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The Tourism Lethbridge report provides valuable insights into the current state of the industry, shedding light on key trends and challenges. It’s crucial for both professionals and enthusiasts to stay informed about the tourism landscape, especially in evolving times. Alongside such insightful reads, ensuring high-quality content is paramount. If you’re looking for professional assistance with history paper writing, consider checking out Their expertise and dedication to delivering top-notch historical papers could be a valuable asset for students and researchers alike.

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