Alberta tourism excellence recognized at the 2016 Alto Awards

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Outstanding tourism operators from communities across Alberta were recognized for tourism excellence at Alberta’s recent 2016 Alto Awards.

Tourism is big business in Alberta, an $8.3 billion industry that supports 19,000 businesses and 127,000 jobs in every region of the province. Announced at Travel Alberta’s annual industry conference, the Alto awards celebrate individuals and organizations who enrich the tourism industry, inspire others and demonstrate what can be achieved by working together.

“Tourism is a dynamic, innovative industry in Alberta, and a key economic driver,” said Tyler Riopel, Chair of the Alto Award Committee.  “The Altos recognized individuals and organizations who creatively inspired travellers and colleagues alike.”

The 2016 Alto Ambassador Award, sponsored by the Calgary Airport Authority, was presented to Jim Muir, president of Clique Hotels and Resorts and a 25-year leader in Alberta hotels and tourism. The Alto Ambassador Award is given annually to an exceptional Albertan who has made an outstanding contribution to the province’s tourism industry.

Nine other Alto Award winners were also recognized in the following categories:

Alberta Pride (Sponsored by Calgary Airport Authority):
Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary
(Finalists: Aspen Crossing, Mossleigh; SnowSeekers/FestivalSeekers, Edmonton)

Collaborative Tourism (Sponsored by Pomeroy Lodging):
“Cook It Raw Alberta” by the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance
(Finalists: Central Alberta Tourism Alliance; “Canmore in the Bag” by Clique Hotels and Resorts)

Marketing Excellence (Up to $10,000) (Sponsored by Fort McMurray International Airport):
“#InstaFaceOff” by the Chinook County Tourism Association, Lethbridge
(Finalists: “#Passionplaycountdown” by Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Drumheller; “#LooksGoodOnYou” by Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton)

Marketing Excellence ($10,000-$50,000) (Sponsored by Calgary Hotel Association):
“Bring This Story Alive” by Tourism Red Deer, Red Deer
(Finalists: “Go Ski Alberta” by Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA); “Canmore in the Bag” by Clique Hotels and Resorts)

Marketing Excellence (Over $50,000) (Sponsored by Edmonton International Airport):
“llluminasia” by the Calgary Zoo, Calgary
(Finalists: 2016 Big Valley Jamboree, Camrose; “Explore Sundre” by the Town of Sundre, Sundre)

Marketing Partnership (Sponsored by Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association):
Motorcycle Ride to Reynolds” by Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskawin
(Finalists: “Timber Falls Hotel Package” by Calaway Park, Calgary; Central Alberta Tourism Alliance)

Outstanding Sustainable Tourism (Sponsored by Parks Canada):
Medalta in the Historic Clay District, Medicine Hat
(Finalists: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton; Waterton Wildflower Festival, Waterton Park Community Association, Waterton)

Service Excellence:
Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort, Banff
(Finalists: CHARCUT & charbar, Calgary; Cornerstone Weddings, Canmore)

Tourism Media (Sponsored by Alberta Visitor Services):
“Walking Through a Winter Wonderland” by Jody Robbins
(Finalists: “Calgary is Upping the Steaks” by Amy Rosen; “The Man Who Inspired Charles Darwin” by Carol Patterson)

Held at the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Alto Awards Gala brought tourism partners from across Alberta together to celebrate excellence in the Alberta tourism industry. Awards submissions were received through an open application process and judged by independent tourism industry volunteer judges in each category. Judges’ scores were then tabulated through PricewaterhouseCoopers to determine the winners.

For background stories on the Alto winners and finalists, please visit Travel Alberta’s industry website.

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