Today kicks off Canada’s National Tourism Week, and as proud Calgarians, we have loads to celebrate!

We took a cruise through Tourism Calgary’s Annual Report, and on top of being voted The Friendliest City in the World by Condé Nast (yahoo!), the stats were pretty astounding.

Buckle up while we let the numbers speak for themselves.

For starters, 2024 is forecasted to have 8.7 million visitors. All those people will be popping into our restaurants, staying in our hotels, and shopping at our local spots. That means we’re forecasted to bring in 3.2 billion dollars in spending this year.

Just so we’re all on the same page here, 8.7 people is all of Switzerland, or 20% of our entire country coming to visit Calgary:

National Tourism Week

That sky-high spending forecast reveals that Calgary recovered from the pandemic two years earlier than anticipated. Nice job, us. We are thrilled to see our economy bouncing back so we can keep on doing what we do best–hosting!

As event profs, this one really caught our attention:
23% of visitors are coming here for work, a conference or a special event. That means (quick number crunch incoming) 2 million people are in our hands as they attend conferences, Stampede, and events across the city. That is 2 million chances to show off why Calgary’s hospitality is the best in the country.

And you already know our conference scene is about to skyrocket as the newly expanded BMO Centre at Stampede Park re-opens its doors. We’re about to have the second-largest convention centre in the country, and we’re so (SO) excited to show off our very best to everyone who comes through.

Speaking of millions of visitors–
Airports worldwide have caught on to the global traffic coming our way. You can now find direct flights to Calgary from hubs like London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, and Amsterdam. No biggie.

ONE National Tourism Day Graphics

With all of that positive news, we can’t wait for the huge events coming in 2024. We’re still reeling from last summer’s second-highest Stampede attendance in history, plus having just hosted Nitrocoss, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and Special Olympics Winter Games (and it’s only April).

As event profs, it only makes sense that we are not just raving fans of our city but can rep Calgary better than ever before.

So to prep for our 8.7 million visitors, we’re brushing up on our skills by joining over 750 graduates of the White Hat Academy! We’ll graduate with insider tips and training about all things Calgary and become certified Ultimate Hosts.

This is a shameless plug for a quick–and free–course we think every event prof in our city should take, and you can learn more here.

To continue celebrating National Tourism Week, we’ve sent our very own Brooke — fresh off of her White Hat Academy certification— on a mission to uncover unexpected tidbits about our fav Calgary spots. Come along for the ride!

Photo Credits:
Getty Images