Parliamentary Secretary Lockhart concludes two-day tour of Alberta

News Release

Government support for innovation and Indigenous tourism the focus of the trip

November 7, 2017, Calgary, AB

Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, today concluded a two-day visit to Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta. The Parliamentary Secretary’s trip highlighted the Government of Canada’s continued support for both innovation and Indigenous economic development.

During her visit, Parliamentary Secretary Lockhart met with Western Canada Business Service Network partners Community Futures Treaty Seven and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. These meetings helped to illustrate the many ways that members of Treaty Seven First Nations and female entrepreneurs are working with the Government of Canada to build successful local businesses, especially in Canada’s tourism sector.

Continuing with the focus on tourism, the Parliamentary Secretary delivered opening remarks at the International Aboriginal Tourism Conference, hosted by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada. In her speech, she highlighted the government’s renewed commitment to investing in and developing Canada’s tourism sector. This includes working with and supporting Indigenous operators as they raise greater awareness of the many great, unique and authentic Indigenous experiences on offer from coast to coast to coast.

Indigenous tourism is a fast-growing part of Canada’s tourism sector. And with the Canada-China Year of Tourism planned for 2018, the government is working to raise Canada’s profile in the Chinese market. This includes encouraging Chinese travellers to visit Canada and to experience authentic Indigenous attractions managed by First Nations, Inuit and Métis.


“Indigenous businesses are valuable members of communities from coast to coast to coast. There is no relationship more important to our government than the relationship with Indigenous peoples, and we will continue to work with governments, tourism associations and hardworking Indigenous tour operators as they grow their businesses, create jobs and support local communities. We are all excited for 2018 and the Canada-China Year of Tourism. We expect to welcome record numbers of Chinese visitors, which represents a tremendous opportunity for our tourism sector—especially for Indigenous operators, whose unique and authentic experiences will keep visitors coming back time and again.”

– Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism

Quick Facts

  • Tourism is Canada’s largest service export and represents more than 2 percent of our GDP.

  • One in ten Canadian jobs—more than 1.8 million—depends on the tourist economy.

  • International travellers are increasingly interested in unique and authentic experiences, including unique and authentic Indigenous tourism experiences.

  • In 2015, Indigenous tourism contributed $1.4 billion to Canada’s GDP, more than double from 2002.

  • The number of Indigenous tourism businesses nearly doubled between 2002 and 2014, with more than 1,500 across Canada.

  • 2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism. As part of Canada’s Tourism Vision, the government committed to doubling the number of Chinese visitors by 2021.

  • China is currently Canada’s third largest tourism source market and is projected to soon become the second largest.


Jonathan Dignan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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