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Western Canadian tourism gets $5 million boost

Four provinces will use money for international marketing campaigns

A $5 million investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada will help the Tourism Alliance for Western Canada implement an international marketing campaign to stimulate tourism in Western Canada.

The campaign, announced in Whistler on May 22, will promote Western Canada as a tourist destination in key target markets across the United States, Europe and Asia.

“Our government is committed to standing up for Western Canada’s traditional industries,” said Diane Ablonczy, Secretary of State for Small Business and Tourism.

“The West’s tourism industry includes more than 200,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, and I am confident this project will contribute to economic prosperity in western communities of every size.”

The Tourism Alliance of Western Canada is a joint marketing consortium in which the four western provinces and their respective Tourism Marketing Agencies work co-operatively to promote growth in tourism within the private sector. Under this project, each of the Alliance members — Tourism B.C., Travel Alberta, Tourism Saskatchewan and Travel Manitoba — will coordinate a series of activities tailored to the needs and priorities of each province.

"The timing of this announcement is perfect for British Columbia," commented Rod Harris, president & CEO of Tourism B.C. "We need to access every resource available to truly maximize the benefits of hosting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — and this investment will help us do just that."

Tourism is one of Canada’s top economic generators. In the West, tourism contributes about $18 billion to the economy each year and directly employs nearly 280,000 westerners in sectors that include accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the western provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy as well as to represent the interests of the West in national decision-making.