Amanda Ragsdale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

There’s no denying that the Badlands are the top spot for tourism in Alberta these days. From dinosaurs, hiking and an abundance of campgrounds, there is so much for people to see and do throughout the Valley. 

According to Travel Alberta, tourism spending was $10.72 billion in the province in 2022, This is up from $600 million in 2019 and has more than doubled from the $4.38 billion during the height of the pandemic in 2021. Drumheller’s tourist spending was $70 million in 2022 and $16 million was paid in wages to people working hard through the busy tourist season. 

Other provinces like British Columbia saw about $700 million in tourist spending in 2022 and Ontario at $1 billion.

The Badlands Tourist Development Zone’s projected 10 year plan for Drumheller is to create more than 1300 new jobs and see an increase of 4.5% in spending each year by the year 2035, with an estimated $186 million in total tourist revenue. Within the nine communities throughout the Valley and 183 businesses, 83% of residents believe tourism is paramount and would be welcoming of more visitors. 

“We are concentrating on building the foundation for tourism in Drumheller,” Julia Fielding, Executive Director of Travel Drumheller, tells the Mail, “It is starting to show results with attractions having a higher number of visitors and hotels achieving the highest occupancy in Alberta in August.”

The majority of revenue during the season comes in June, July and August, with the August long weekend being one of the busiest days for tourism.

“The benefits of tourism means that we have a wider number of services such as a brewery and distillery and amazing events throughout the year,” says Fielding.

By Amanda Ragsdale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 06, 2024 at 11:05

This item reprinted with permission from   The Drumheller Mail   Drumheller, Alberta

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