Calgary's Destination Strategy

Calgary Skyline
Calgary Skyline

Calgary's Destination Strategy

Unveiled in 2017, Calgary’s stakeholder-led and endorsed Destination Strategy articulates Calgary’s competitive advantages and marketplace position and outlines key recommendations for making Calgary the ultimate host city.

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Research process and findings

To appropriately envision the future development of Calgary as a destination, Tourism Calgary conducted rigorous research and stakeholder engagement. Over a six-month period, over 100 diverse stakeholders were invited to discuss their perceived opportunities, challenges and insights.

Stakeholders generously shared their thoughts about how to make Calgary the ultimate host city.

Key findings:

  • Calgary has a deficit of hosting infrastructure;
  • Visitors and Calgarians need to be better aware of the events, festivals, performances and experiences available to them;
  • Calgary needs an emotionally compelling personality;
  • Tourism Calgary stakeholders want to work collaboratively to ensure the successful implementation of Calgary’s Destination Strategy; and
  • Calgary has the potential to be the ultimate host city.
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Strategic framework

Based on these research findings, the following strategic framework was developed, further tested with key stakeholders and agreed upon as the direction for Calgary’s Destination Strategy. The centre of the wheel reminds us why we do what we do, and who we’re doing it for - because what’s good for Calgarians is good for visitors.

Based on these research findings, the following strategic framework was developed, further tested with key stakeholders and agreed upon as the direction for Calgary’s Destination Strategy. The centre of the wheel reminds us why we do what we do, and who we’re doing it for - because what’s good for Calgarians is good for visitors.

Tourism Calgary
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Recommendations

Enhance Calgary’s hosting infrastructure

  • Calgary has some elements of great hosting infrastructure. However, to achieve the next level we need to take action in the areas in which we’re lacking; particularly in sport and performing arts infrastructure.
  • To achieve this, Tourism Calgary actively advocates for the enhancement of hosting infrastructure of all kinds in our city. Whether that means building new facilities, repurposing existing infrastructure or reimagining how current amenities are used.

Energize Calgary’s iconic anchor experiences

  • Calgary has several anchor experiences that have earned international followings and put our city on the world stage. These experiences shape our cultural fabric, entice visitation and enhance well-being through economic stimulus. In order to grow their importance and contributions to the community and economy, these experiences must be energized and made easily accessible.
  • To achieve this, Tourism Calgary works in close partnership with experience leaders, makes connections and facilitates conversations to ensure this important community reaches its full potential.

Attract, develop, promote and activate events year-round

  • Calgary hosts hundreds of festivals and events every year. The summer and fall event calendars are particularly robust; however, there is an opportunity to expand our event offerings throughout the year. This would give visitors more reasons to travel to Calgary and would ensure they always have something to do when they’re here. For Calgarians, year-round activity ensures continuous economic impact, jobs and opportunities to showcase our unique community spirit.
  • To achieve this, Tourism Calgary actively leads, enables and advocates for the development, attraction promotion and activation of events year-round.

Articulate and emotionalize Calgary’s unique personality

  • By articulating and emotionalizing our city’s unique personality, we put to words the feelings of pride Calgarians feel for their home and help to tell a deeper layer of Calgary’s story to the world.
  • To achieve this, Tourism Calgary has led the Brand Evolution Project in close partnership with Calgary Economic Development.

Foster stakeholder alignment and collaboration

  • Ultimately, the success of Calgary’s Destination Strategy depends on meaningful, mutually beneficial participation and alliances between stakeholders and industry partners. By working together, Calgary’s tourism industry can achieve more for the benefit of visitors and Calgarians.
  • Through collaborating with partners and stakeholders, Tourism Calgary leads the efforts to grow Calgary’s reputation as the ultimate host city. This includes leveraging effective partnerships, communicating relevant and timely information, sharing useful research insights and supporting educational and product development programs.
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Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre

Implementation

  • Advancing Calgary’s Destination Strategy requires focused, aligned collaborative action and support from a broad reaching group of contributors. To achieve success as defined by its stakeholder community, Tourism Calgary champions this strategy – at times leading initiatives, at times supporting others in their pursuits and at all times advocating for the strategic development of our city for the benefit of visitors and Calgarians.

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