More tourists will be flocking to Calgary in 2017, according to a new report.
The Conference Board of Canada (CBOC) predicts overnight visits to the city will grow by 2.5 per cent in the new year.
It comes after a particularly dismal year for the Calgary Stampede, as attendance at the popular outdoor festival fell to a 22-year low in 2016.
The CBOC said in a Wednesday news release that it expects the newly opened National Music Centre and Calgary Film Centre will be a big draw for tourists.
It’s expected Alberta’s capital region will also see a bump in tourism.
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The board says strong growth in U.S. and overseas markets should contribute to a two per cent increase in overnight visits to Edmonton.
The report says low gas prices and a weak Canadian dollar have helped boost travel right across the country, with overnight visits expected to expand by three per cent.
“The tourism sector is one of a handful benefiting from the low Canadian dollar,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director of the Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute. “We’re seeing increased levels of both U.S. and international visitors that are nothing short of tremendous and restore much of the travel volume lost during the past decade.”
Hermus said overnight visits to Canada from the U.S. are expected to increase a further 7.8 per cent in 2016. Overseas visits increased 8.7 per cent this year, but are expected to cool slightly in the new year.
Meanwhile, the cost of travel will continue to slowly rise, with increases ranging from 2.1 per cent to 2.3 per cent between 2017 and 2020. That includes a two to three per cent increase in the cost of accommodation.