Last week, the Government of Alberta (Canada) reported that over 10 million visitors had explored the province this year, with more than 260,000 camping reservations processed, resulting in more than 642,000 occupied camper nights across the province.
According to the release, Albertans have experienced and enjoyed various improvements, including approximately 14 kilometers of new mountain biking trails in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, improvements to the Matápiiksi (Hoodoo) Interpretive Trail in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, a brand-new viewing platform at Little Lake in Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, and new equestrian camping areas in Castle Provincial Park and Sulphur Gates Provincial Recreation Area during the busy summer season.
Todd Loewen, minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism, said that Alberta’s provincial parks system benefits every Albertan and draws visitors globally.
“At the end of the day, parks are for people – for people to explore, appreciate nature, learn and enjoy,” Loewen said.
Another win for Alberta’s outdoor recreation and camping industry was made. With over 260,000 camping reservations processed this year, it has resulted in more than 642,000 occupied camper nights across the province and an 85% overall satisfaction rating from visitors.
Central Alberta’s William Watson Lodge in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and Peaceful Valley Provincial Recreation Area and day lodge also reopened this summer.
William Watson Lodge, a year-round wilderness lodging, offers accommodation and experiences for persons with disabilities, people who are terminally ill, seniors, and their families.
The government of Alberta invested over CA$6 million to improve accessibility access to the facility in order to provide a better guest experience. Meanwhile, Peaceful Valley offers immersive nature experiences and recreation opportunities to persons with disabilities, people who are terminally ill, and seniors.
As per the province’s data, Alberta’s provincial parks visitor numbers have increased by over 33%.
For the government of Alberta, protecting the province’s recreation areas and parks is a top priority. The province has invested CA$75 million in operating expenses for Alberta Parks and another CA$34.4 million for site upgrades throughout the province.
Alberta’s provincial parks have played a significant role in its economy. Alberta Parks has employed more than 450 seasonal staff this year to support visitors and ensure environmental sustainability.
According to the province’s website, Alberta has over 470 parks and recreation areas.