The tourism industry has ed the chorus. The good news, as Edmonton's tourism slogan points out, vacationing in your own backyard requires no passport.
If ever there was a year to see what the province has to offer staycationers, this is it, said Marty Eberth, director of experience development with Travel Alberta. With the Canada-United States border continuing to be closed to tourists until Aug.
A Travel Alberta survey conducted in late April and early May found 45 per cent of tourism businesses were worried about getting their customers back and 33 per cent said they were at risk of closing their doors permanently. The impact of those changes will be queried in a second survey in August, Eberth said.
She then rattled off a long list of places where Albertans can now go including outdoor recreation sites, campgrounds, museums, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, interpretive attractions, golf courses, fishing lodges, outfitters, farmers markets, gondolas, Hot seeking sex Kapolei, and chairlifts.
The 50 per cent capacity restriction placed on restaurants in Stage 1 has been lifted, but a two-metre distancing requirement between tables remains. Calaway Park, Western Canada's largest outdoor family amusement park, just west of Calgary's city limits, was one of the last attractions to reopen July 17th, Eberth said.
What's left? Large-scale meetings and events, conventions, major sporting events, trade shows, festivals, concerts, and nightclubs, said Darren Reeder, board advisor with the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta TIAA.
Travel Alberta is helping to smooth out those bumps with a campaign pitching Albertans to vacation at home and promoting places they might not know about or have never thought about visiting.
Travel Alberta's Worth the Wait Campaign introduces them to some of those places. Eberth suggested the northeast part of the province and its many lakes for travellers into water sports and fishing.
Crowsnest Pass in the Rocky Mountains in southwest Alberta is smaller and less known than Jasper and Banff, but offers the same mountain biking, golfing and hiking activities. Chris Zdeb is a freelance writer and regular contributor to AlbertaPrimeTimes.